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AFP checking Chinese students’ influx in Cagayan

by Kiko Cueto

WONDERING why you suddenly have a lot of Chinese classmates?

This is the case of a college in the province of Cagayan, as more than 4,600 Chinese nationals are reportedly enrolled in a private university and had rented homes in various areas.

According to the military, they will conduct a coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“The AFP takes seriously any reports so we are looking into this, but in terms of peace and order issues, that is the mandate of the PNP,” AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said.

“We’ll be working with them closely on this matter, so investigations will be on their end, and if there will be AFP requirements from their end, then we will be extending our assistance accordingly,” she added.

Likewise, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba noted that having foreign students in Tuguegarao is not a security threat.

“The presence of Chinese students in Cagayan and nationwide is the result of an agreement made by Chinese learning institutions and the Commission on Higher Education,” he said.

He added that it is part of the 2019 agreement between CHED and the Ministry of China.

Mamba also said that it is not true that Chinese students are benefitting from local government educational support.

He also said that foreign students that entered the country and Cagayan are properly documented.

“Foreign students entering the country and the province have a student visa and documents approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs,” he stressed.

Also there is no reason to link the Chinese students to the country’s problems with China in the West Philippine Sea.

“Although the governor opposed the establishment of EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) sites in Cagayan, this doesn’t mean the province’s doors are closed to neighboring countries. The province is open to trade and assistance,” the statement read.

Earlier, the said influx of Chinese workers, businessmen, tourists and students in the Philippines is alarming, according to Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers.

He said that a “creeping invasion has begun.”

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) had raided a townhouse located in an exclusive subdivision in Barangay Bambang at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The said raid, which was covered by a search warrant, yielded four airsoft firearms, three pistols, disassembled parts of an M16 rifle and ammunition hidden between walls in one of the floors.



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