AT LEAST NINE Retired military officers joined Dito Telecommunity Corp., a business official said Thursday, worried about its relationship with a Chinese state-owned telecommunications company.

Retired Col. Roleen del Prado is actually in charge of the Teleco startup’s cyber protection operations unit, said Chief Technical Officer Rodolfo D. Santiago, himself a retired military general, at a virtual conference.

“We consider him to be the finest in cyber security… I was able to persuade him to retire early and join Dito to lead our cyber security operations,” he said.

Mr. Santiago added that at least nine” retired military officers are actually employed with Dito.

“If you’re trying to search the local data protection market, this is valid also in other nations, those who have been in the armed forces are the right candidates to be used for very very important cyber security criteria,” he added.

Concerns have been raised regarding the arrangement between the Philippines Armed Forces and the Telco start-up to establish cell sites in selected military camps.

Dito agreed that it would not utilize its services and infrastructures to collect sensitive details from the Armed Forces.

In September, Teleco revealed that it will spend P1 billion in cyber security technologies this year to be provided by 12 technology companies located in the United States.

Dito has now built up to 1,900 towers worldwide, said Chief Executive Officer Adel A. Tamano at a Senate hearing on 7 December.

The organization has installed “more than enough” cell sites to fulfill its pledge to reach 37% of the country with a minimum of 27 megabits per second, he said.

Dito is expected to commercially introduce its services in March following the planned technological audit in January.

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