Press Release
April 7, 2016

Recto: "We are used to China's tantrums"

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto today laughed off the outburst made by Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang labeling him irresponsible for linking Chinese hackers to the $81-million cyberheist on Bangladesh Bank, describing China's response as "mere tantrums."

"We are used to China's tantrums. They need not hyperventilate on this issue," Recto said.

The Senate leader stressed that he was not blaming the Chinese government for the $81-million cyberheist, saying he merely pointed out the involvement of Chinese and Macau nationals as possible masterminds behind the crime.

"Hindi naman Chinese government, but Chinese citizens ang involved. Clearly the Senate hearings have shown the involvement of their citizens. Persons of interest are Chinese nationals," Recto said.

"I will not apologize. Hindi naman natin sinabi na it is a state-sanctioned project, or a government-instigated enterprise. Crimes committed by citizens should not be blamed on the state," he added.

Instead of throwing tantrums, Recto said the Chinese government should help the international community identify the hackers who stole $81 million from Bangladesh Bank.

"Sayang ang laway nating lahat kung puro salita ang gagawin. Sa halip na makipagbangayan, dapat tumulong ang China sa Interpol (International Police) para makilala at maipakulong ang mga hackers na ito," the senator said.

"Every minute of delay in stopping these hackers increases the risk of cyberattack on the international banking community," he added.

Recto said he would never accuse the Chinese government of sanctioning hacking, except on the issue of the West Philippine Sea.

"Sa West Philippine Sea, doon malinaw na hackers sila. They've been hacking away large chunks of territory from us," Recto said.

"They have built a Great Wall of Sand in our territory. They don't have the basis to ask me to correct my statement," he added.

Recto surmised that the Chinese government's outburst on the cyberheist issue was an attempt to divert the international community's attention from their aggressive stance in the West Philippine Sea.

"Binakuran ang traditional fishing grounds natin. Nilagyan ng 'Bawal Mangisda' ang Pilipino. Maraming 'Do not Enter' signs. Massive reclamation. Ito ang kailangang ipaliwanag ng Chinese government," he said.

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