An official from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) submitted a “confidential” report to the Senate blue ribbon committee, which was discovered to be taken from a satirical news site. This action prompted Senators to seek a review of the NICA’s budget of P700-million on Monday, October 17.
Chairman of the committee, Gordon, revealed that NICA, by means of Director General Rodolfo Arsaga Jr., appended a confidential tag on a satirical news article claiming that an alleged Chinese military base found in Zambales contains underground military silos.
The article was published on July 25 by “Intel Guru” entitled “Breaking Story: Hidden Chinese Military Base with Alleged Missile Silos Found in Zambales.” However, a note found on the bottom of the article articulated: “This specific article is partly for satirical and entertainment purposes and the events should not be construed as pure facts although the mentioned tangible objects exist.”
As the Senate panel resumes the hearing on the informed destructive mining operations and illegal excavations in Zambales, Senator Gordon asked NICA to give a reason not to be cited in contempt for referring a representative “who’s obviously incompetent to answer questions.”
“I was shocked. You’re taking it from the Internet and you’re taking it seriously. Fine. Did you verify? And they said they will do it,” Gordon said.
Gordon adds, “It’s amazing. I mean, if that’s the state of intelligence we have in this country, maybe we really are in trouble.”
But on Monday, Arsaga did not show up at the hearing.
Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said, “Let us review the budget of the NICA… If you come up with a report to the blue ribbon committee citing an Internet post and cover it with confidential sheet, ay ibang klase ‘yang NICA na yan,” asking for a review of the NICA’s budget and the dismissal of Arsaga.
The satirical article was posted by a website called “A New Philippines” with the byline “Intel Guru.” It bears this picture of a huge tunnel.
Meme Buster has busted talks about those alleged missile silos in Zambales. The photo used was that of a “wye junction (TV-WS) in the western tube of the Gotthard Base Tunnel at Multi-function Station Faido, Canton Ticino, Switzerland,” as per Wikimedia.