Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday said his disclosure that around 2,000 to 3,000 Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may have have sneaked into the Philippines is a “test and challenge” to the intelligence community, not to the intelligence of Filipinos.
“It is a test all right, not of the intelligence of the Filipino people,” said Lacson, who served as former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Lacson noted that this is a test and a challenge as well to the intelligence community to verify what he said, a yet-to-be validated information provided by a reliable source who had given him some accurate intelligence reports in the past.
“In intelligence parlance, this information may be classified ‘A6’,” he said.
Considering the implications, he said it is one piece of information still worth looking into, said Lacson.
When an issue that has serious implications -– such as the reported presence of PLA members in the Philippines — is raised, credible information is the best way to resolve it, said Lacson
“This is without prejudice to Philippine authorities’ ongoing efforts to verify such information,” further stated Lacson.
Lacson also divulged he was informed by his source that the PLAs are on an “immersion mission.”
He said they arrived in the country as tourists or workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) industry.
Replying to a tweet by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., about the supposed entry of the Chinese PLAs possibly for an “immersion mission,” the Chinese embassy responded: “Is the Senator testing the intelligence of the Philippine people?”
The POGO workers who came to the Philippines are reportedly of military age.
The PLA is the unified organization of China’s land, sea and air forces and is one of the largest military forces in the world.
Lacson said validating the information is the best way to resolve it.
Last week, authorities recovered PLA IDs from two Chinese nationals tagged in the murder of another Chinese national, who was shot inside a restaurant in Makati City.
Chinese national Yang Chao Wen, 32, and Liang Yuan Wu, 29, arrested in Makati for the killing of Yin Jian Tao, 33, who worked in the POGO industry, yielded PLA IDs./Stacy Ang