SENATOR Francis Pangilinan exhorts Malacañang to order the creation of a task force to be headed by the Department of Justice that will look into the presence and activities of Chinese nationals in the country.
Pangilinan made the pitch as he raised alarm on the possibility of the foreign nationals’ “soft invasion” in the Philippines with the entry of about four million Chinese since 2017.
He said the inter-agency task force may be composed of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), and the Department of National Defense (DND).
“Dapat alerto tayo. Kung hindi, baka gumising tayong hindi na atin ang Pilipinas. We must be on guard. If not, the next thing we know is we are already sharing bed with the enemy,” Pangilinan said.
He stressed that not all Chinese nationals in the country are undesirables. Many have lived in the Philippines for years and have become one among Filipinos.
But the surge in their numbers to millions in the past few years should not be overlooked, especially in light of the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea and over reports of some of their illegal activities, he said.
During an earlier Senate hearing, it was bared that around four million Chinese nationals have entered the country in the last three years.
“The BI can take off from this figure and find out where these four million Chinese are and how they entered the country and for what purpose. The DOLE should check their employment records and their work conditions. These basic records should be available if they are indeed legally staying in the country,” Pangilinan said.
The senator said that unlawful activities of foreign nationals in the country mean lost opportunities for Filipinos and lost income for the government, not to mention the possibility of endangering national security.