I. The Big Story: PLA Members in the Philippines?
On March 4, 2020, Filipino Senator Panfilo Lacson expressed concerns about the growing number of Chinese military personnel in the Philippines. He said that a good number of 2000 to 3000 PLA personnel are in the country. However, the information, which he claims to have shared with Senator Richard Gordon, still needs validation by the intelligence committee. Lacson said the PLA members might be here for an immersion mission, of which exact purpose remains unknown. This was followed by Gordon’s statement, where he claimed that certain Chinese citizens had been “assuming” the identities of deceased Filipinos with the help of corrupt personnel of local civil registry offices. He shared the information a day after saying that China may be using Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) for intelligence and for bringing in money to fund espionage in the country.
Background of the story: