Philippine Coast Guard Spokesperson Denied that Chinese Nationals were Spies

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Read Admiral Armnad Balilo denied that the 36 Chinese nationals recruited into the PCG Auxiliary were able to spy. The spokesperson also denied they had any links to the hacking of the website and social media accounts of various government agencies.

Balilo made the comments during the government’s daily Baging Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing on March 21st. Addressing the allegations that the 36 Chinese nationals were spies, the spokesperson said that the PCG did not have “strong evidence” to say they were Chinese spies.

They went through the vetting process when they applied, and they had “long assisted the Coast Guard in humanitarian assistance donations.” He also said that the service did not have any security issues because they applied in 2015, when tensions were not as heightened as today.

The spokesperson also denied they had any links to the hacking of the website and social media accounts of various government agencies. Balilo said that the individuals “acquired documents such as police and National Bureau of Investigation clearances,” contradicting comments made during yesterday’s hearing. He also said that they were not privy to sensitive agency operations.

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