Solon wants accountability over PCG recruitment of Chinese

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

March 21, 2024, 7:16 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – A House leader on Thursday said Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) officials behind the recruitment of Chinese nationals as auxiliary members should face accountability.

Chinese nationals in the PCG undermines the country's security, especially amid heightened tensions between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, House Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude Acidre said in a press conference.

“I'm sure there will be people who should be made accountable. It's not what we can consider an honest mistake. I'm sure the concealment is something that's malicious and that is a serious threat to national security,” he said.

The PCG clarified in a House hearing that the Chinese nationals have already been delisted in December 2023 due to lack of national security clearance.

"It has been really alarming that in our country's security forces, even if they say they’re just PCG Auxiliaries, ay napapasukan tayo (they are already infiltrating us)," he said.

“To think, when you are a PCG Auxiliary, you actually wear a uniform, and for the uniform of the PCG to be used -- the agency na involved sa pagprotekta ng West Philippine Sea -- parang double whammy naman tayo doon diba (the agency involved in protecting the West Philippine Sea, it seems like a double whammy, right)?” he said.

Acidre urged the PCG and agencies with similar auxiliary forces to thoroughly vet their recruits and volunteers.

“I call on all the agencies that have auxiliary bodies or institutions like the PCG Auxiliary. I hope they look into the qualifications. I hope that this should be a lesson for us moving forward,” he said. (PNA)