Busted: Chinese military tunnel in PH? It’s actually Switzerland’s Gotthard Base Tunnel

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A Facebook post showing a photo of what was allegedly China’s military tunnel in the Philippines has been shared more than 4,400 times since it was posted on July 30. It was even captioned, “A New Philippines Breaking Story: Hidden Chinese Military Base with alleged Atomic Bomb Silos found in Zambales!”

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

However, this Kit Young is not the first person to have shared this photo. In fact, the photo might have come from the camp of Elly Velez Lao Pamatong since he shared the misleading tunnel photo on July 27.

Pamatong’s China tunnel photos

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

Pamatong even used the same photo when he declared war against President Xi Jinping of China, with his weapon raised. He also urged whoever’s interested to “join the USAFFE LIBERATION ARMY” because the Philippines is being invaded by the Chinese.

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

But who is Pamatong?

A Google search turned up several articles, including an Inquirer article about him being arrested for being suspected as the mastermind behind the failed bombing attempt made by three members of the USA Freedom Fighters of the East (Usaffe) at the NAIA Terminal 3. The newspaper also called him a “colorful figure in Philippine politics.”

Pamatong started Usaffe in 2003 as “an anti-communist paramilitary organization” to fight against the NPA in Mindanao. He is a practicing lawyer who claimed to have passed the American bar exam with 92% score. Inquirer also wrote that he graduated from the University of the Philippines and Siliman University.

Pamatong ran as president twice, in 2004 and 2010, but Comelec disqualified him as a nuisance candidate. He also ran as Pampanga governor in 2007, but lost.

But the controversial personality earned his notoriety and a nickname “Spike Boy” after he tossed metal spikes in EDSA in 2004, damaging 100 vehicles, for being DQ’ed as a presidential candidate.

In 2010, he accused Comelec commissioners as thieves and was jailed for contempt after interrupting the announcement of the decision on the disqualification case he filed against former Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Joseph Estrada.

In March 2015, he also made the news when he and his followers signed a “declaration of war” against China with a blood compact, as GMA News Online reported.

More recently, in June 2106, GMA News Online reported that Pamatong filed a petition to stop President Rodrigo Duterte from becoming president. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition.

Duterte fan page posted the same photo

Ironically, one of the many Facebook fan pages devoted to Duterte also shared the same photo that was first used by Pamatong. And of course, the admins did not miss the opportunity to encourage its followers to share the information so other DDS (Die-hard Duterte Supporters) will know. To think that sharing the fake story is like supporting someone who tried to stop Duterte from assuming the presidency.

Chinese Military Tunnel In PH

The real tunnel

However, the tunnel that was touted as China’s secret tunnel in Zambales turned out to be a “wye junction (TV-WS, Tunnelverzweigung West-Sud) in the western tube of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Multi-function Station Faido, Canton Ticino, Switzerland,” according to Wikimedia.

Gotthard Base Tunnel

image source: commons.wikimedia.org

Zambales governor belies Chinese presence in PH

Rumors about the presence of Chinese military in the Philippines, particularly in the Zambales mountains, likely came from a newspaper report that quoted Zambales Governor Amor Deloso claiming that the foreign forces are occupying a 500-hectare mountain in Santa Cruz.

In the same report, Deloso was also quoted saying that the Chinese stationed a missile into the three mountains in Santa Cruz. Even the US warships were supposedly monitoring the missile after the Philippines won over China in the maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea. The mountains were said to be sold to the Chinese by former Zambales Governor Hermogenes Ebdane Jr.

However, Deloso granted an interview with The Manila Times, denying any of the reports cited above. He said that the Chinese are not in Zambales, but are stationed in the reclaimed area near the Scarborough Shoal. He made another controversial revelation though by saying that the Chinese used the rocks and soil from the Santa Cruz mountains to reclaim Scarborough Shoal.

Pamatong’s camp and everyone who posted the photo of the Gotthard Base Tunnel, passing it off as China’s military tunnel, are deliberately misleading the readers with this inflammatory claim. And to top that, they are pointing fingers at anyone, without supporting those accusations. It seems like deception is the name of the game and the ones on the losing end are those who don’t bother verifying the things they read online.

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