AFP checking Chinese students’ influx in Cagayan

Michael Punongbayan, Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
AFP checking Chinese students� influx in Cagayan
The 185 new personnel of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division are to perform anti-COVID-19 frontline missions.
Philstar.com / John Unson

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is looking into the reported swarm of Chinese college students in the province of Cagayan.

More than 4,600 Chinese nationals have reportedly enrolled in a private university and rented homes in various locations in Tuguegarao.

The military will coordinate with the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the matter, AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said.

“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,” Padilla told reporters yesterday at a press briefing.

“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.

Reacting to calls for a legislative inquiry, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba said he believes 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 explained in a statement, pointing to a 2019 agreement between CHED and the Ministry of China.

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

He said all foreign students entering 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.

There is no reason to link the Chinese students to the country’s problems with China in the West Philippine Sea, he noted.

“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.


The influx of Chinese workers, businessmen, tourists and students in the Philippines is alarming, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers said yesterday, declaring that the “creeping invasion has begun.”

Barbers expressed concern over reports of “seemingly both unexplainable and inexplicable presence” of Chinese nationals in the country.

It is anomalous that these foreigners obtained Filipino birth certificates, driver’s licenses, UMID cards, passports and even accreditations and auxiliary membership in the armed services, particularly the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), he noted.

Guns, luxury cars seized from Chinese

Meanwhile, firearms and luxury cars concealed by a Chinese national were seized after police raided a townhouse in Taguig City.

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

The raid, covered by a search war[1]rant, yielded four airsoft firearms, three pistols, disassembled parts of an M16 rifle and ammunition hidden between walls in one of the floors.

“There are high-powered firearms complete with protected gear, bulletproof vests, ballistics helmets; these are weapons of war,” said NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez. Other concealed items include a tactical helmet marked with “China,” tactical vests and a Chinese flag.

Intelligence units received a tip about the presence of firearms hidden by foreign nationals in the area, prompting authorities to apply for a search warrant to enter the premises, Nartatez recalled.

Police arrested Haiqiang Su, 29, who possessed a 5.56 caliber rifle, two hand grenades and 42 bullets.

Two other Chinese nationals – identified by police as Mr. Chang and Mr. Zhang – were brought to the Taguig police station for investigation.

The raid also uncovered several expensive vehicles, including a McLaren sports car with improvised license plates that did not match. — Mark Ernest Villeza, Emmanuel Tupas

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with