PNP offers assistance to NBI in ‘wiretapping’ probe

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has pledged its support to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the investigation of the alleged wiretapping activities of the Chinese embassy. PNP information officer Col. Jean Fajardo stated that they are prepared to assist in the NBI’s probe, which was initiated by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Remulla issued the order following the release of a transcript by the Chinese embassy, allegedly detailing a conversation between a diplomat and former AFP Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos. The discussion, said to have taken place on January 3, revolved around a “new model” for managing the dispute over the Ayungin Shoal.

A Senate panel is set to invite Chinese embassy officials, along with defense and security officials, for an inquiry into the wiretapping allegations against Carlos. Sen. Francis Tolentino revealed that the investigation, guided by Senate Resolution 1023, aims to determine the presence of wiretapping.

Tolentino suggested that depending on the investigation’s findings, personnel at the Chinese embassy could face consequences such as visa cancellations and repatriation. He hinted at the possibility of downsizing the embassy in Metro Manila, noting that this action would be unprecedented.

Under Republic Act 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act, it is illegal to record private conversations without authorization. The resolution highlighted statements made by Chinese officials regarding discussions with the Philippine military on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and emphasized the need for approval from the Philippine President on matters concerning WPS.

The resolution also noted denials from high-ranking AFP officers involved in the alleged wiretapped conversation. It dismissed China’s claims of an audio recording as a distraction from the actions of the China Coast Guard in the WPS.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) spokesperson Dana Sandoval confirmed that no requests for information on individuals linked to the wiretapping incident had been received. The BI database is prepared to provide details if necessary.

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