MANILA, Philippines — Despite its P4.5 billion in confidential and intelligence funds this year, Malacañang was “not aware” that a Chinese company that bagged the Sangley airport project had been blacklisted by the United States for its involvement in island building in the West Philippine Sea.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea made the admission on Monday during a House briefing on the proposed P8.2 billion budget of the Office of the President (OP) for 2021.
“I only read that in news articles. There has been no confirmation on the construction of Chinese bases,” Medialdea said when asked by Bayan Muna Rep. Ferdinand Gaite about the United States’ blacklisting of China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. (CCCC).
The CCCC, part of a consortium that was awarded the Sangley Point International Airport project in Cavite, was one of the Chinese firms sanctioned by the United States for its involvement in the reclamation of disputed areas in the South China Sea, a portion of which is within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Philippines.