Tuguegarao Mayor Denies Allegations of Influx of Chinese Students Amid Security Concerns

Tuguegarao mayor denies influx of Chinese students near military bases, but officials investigate potential national security concerns amid tensions between China and the Philippines.

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Dil Bar Irshad
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Tuguegarao Mayor Denies Allegations of Influx of Chinese Students Amid Security Concerns

Tuguegarao Mayor Denies Allegations of Influx of Chinese Students Amid Security Concerns

Tuguegarao City Mayor Maila Ting-Que has denied allegations of an influx of Chinese students in the city, calling them "libelous, unwarranted, and racist." The mayor's statement comes amid growing concerns over the reported presence of a large number of Chinese students in areas close to military bases that can be accessed by American troops under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

According to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, there are only 400 documented Chinese students enrolled at St. Paul University Philippines in Tuguegarao City, contrary to reports claiming that more than 4,000 Chinese students had entered the area. However, Senator Risa Hontiveros disagreed with the commissioner's statement, describing the issue as another version of the "pastillas scam," where immigration officials allegedly received bribes to allow foreigners to enter the country without proper process.

The National Security Council has initiated an investigation into the reported influx of Chinese students in Cagayan province, particularly in areas near military bases accessible to American troops under EDCA. Senator Hontiveros stressed the necessity of the Senate to examine the matter as a national security concern, citing the potential risks associated with the presence of Chinese nationals near sensitive military installations.

Why this matters: The reported influx of Chinese students in areas close to military bases has raised concerns about potential national security threats. The investigation into the matter highlights the need for proper documentation and monitoring of foreign students in the country, particularly those from China, given the ongoing tensions between the two nations.

Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III expressed the Senate's willingness to investigate the issue, emphasizing the importance of establishing the facts while ensuring that the education of foreign students is not jeopardized. "The Senate is open to investigating the reported influx of Chinese students in the country, to establish the facts and avoid jeopardizing the education of the foreign students," Pimentel stated.

As the investigation progresses, Mayor Ting-Que remains steadfast in her denial of the allegations, maintaining that the claims against her city are unfounded and discriminatory. The Bureau of Immigration and the National Security Council continue to gather information to assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action to address the concerns raised by various officials and lawmakers.

Key Takeaways

  • Tuguegarao mayor denies influx of Chinese students, calls claims "libelous, unwarranted, and racist".
  • BI commissioner says only 400 Chinese students enrolled, contradicting reports of over 4,000.
  • Senate to investigate reported influx of Chinese students near military bases as national security concern.
  • Senators stress need for proper documentation and monitoring of foreign students, especially from China.
  • Investigation ongoing to establish facts and address concerns, without jeopardizing foreign students' education.