PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte could veto the prohibition on the Chinese government-assisted P20-billion surveillance project included in the 2019 national budget, Malacañang said Thursday.
The Senate has approved a “block payment” provision on the China-funded “Safe Philippines Project,” which includes the installation of 12,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in Metro Manila and Davao City.
Sought for comment on the matter, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte could use his veto power.
“No funds for the project? Well if the President will exercise his power of veto, that can be vetoed,” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing.
“We understand the apprehension of some senators, but necessarily this government will not allow any security leaks,” he added.
Recto has also questioned the multi-billion peso project that he even sought a Senate probe into it, worried about the possible potential risks to national security or public interest.
Pressed if the President would indeed veto the prohibition, Panelo said, “I don’t know about that, but he has that option.”
Safe Philippines Project was among the agreements signed during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Manila in 2018.