Palace assures no misuse of surveillance equipment

Posted at 04/08/2014 5:54 PM

MANILA -- A Palace official gave her assurances that there will be no misuse of government surveillance equipment.

This, after the Daily Tribune reported that the military bought some P135 million worth of intelligence equipment.

"According to General (Eduardo) Año, there is none. He belied the reports that came out on that particular subject. You would have to ask them, especially since they are the ones... We don't normally have direct knowledge, at least on a daily basis, of what their procurement plans are," Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

She also fended off a question that the gadgets will be used to spy on journalists.

"I think, in the first place, any procurement of equipment is based really on the needs of the agency. And at this point, it would be also answering a hypothetical (question) in the sense that General Año has already said that there is no truth to that particular report, that allegedly they were procuring intelligence equipment to surveil opponents of the administration. So, you know, at this point we don't see a need to discuss further the fact that it may be used for other purposes, or at least to go into speculation on this point.

"You know, as far as the President has assumed office, he has always made sure that at least the assets that are available to the agency are used properly and they are utilized for the correct purposes. And I am not quite sure if you can point out any specific instance under this administration that those assets have been misused. "