The latest act of China producing fake audio recordings to sow division and confusion among the Filipino populace shows its duplicity in dealing with the Philippine government and the country as a whole, particularly in its
continuing blatant attempt at harassment and intimidation of Philippine Navy personnel and ships at the Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology as well as deepfake technology has brought to the forefront novel problems on how we perceive reality when presented through various media such as in the internet or thru oral and other means of communication.

The use of such deceptive and definitely dangerous technologies is now being exploited by no less than the highly developed countries of the world, such as China, who view these technological advancements as merely a means to an end. This is precisely what may have occurred when the Chinese government revealed that it was able to ostensibly record a telephone conversation between one of their diplomats and WESCOM Chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, a bemedaled ship captain and naval aviator in the Philippine Navy, that disclosed an alleged “new model” of managing the escalating tension at the Ayungin Shoal, and an agreement obviously lopsided in favor and to the advantage of China.

This is clearly a duplicitous act on the part of China and one that attempts to sow division and discord in the Philippine government in connection with the handling of affairs in the West Philippine Sea (WPS). That China is also threatening to reveal to the public the audio clip of the alleged telephone conversation simply shows its capacity to use whatever means is necessary to force the Philippines into its backfoot and prevent the latter’s effort towards imposing its sovereignty in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the WPS. Obviously the telephone conversation could not have taken place or if it did did not contain any such agreement or acquiescence since the conditions
and protocol of the supposed “new model” arrangement would be to the prejudice and disadvantage of the country.

Any Filipino soldier worth his salt, much less a Vice Admiral, would even consider a proposal where you have to seek permission from the Chinese Coast Guard two days before embarking to re-supply your people occupying a derelict
ship at the Ayungin Shoal and to be escorted by Chinese coastguard ships inside your own EEZ. This is simply unacceptable. The chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Romeo Brawner was more blunt in accusing Beijing of possibly utilizing ‘deepfake’ audio recording to back its claim of an alleged ‘new model’ arrangement supposedly reached between an unnamed Chinese diplomat and Admiral Carlos.

“Deepfake is a term that is used for AI-generated media that portrays something that does not exist in reality or events that have never occurred.” (https:// deepfake) The Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFA) already came out with statements such as these: “Resorting to tactics, such as releasing unverifiable recordings of supposed conversations with Philippine officials, could demonstrate efforts to sow discord and confusion among Philippine agencies and the Filipino public,” The DFA also stressed that it is only the President of the Republic who could approve or authorize agreements pertaining to the WPS and that as far as the Philippine
government is concerned there is no agreement, no document or recording and arrangement that exists, a China is claiming.

And even if somehow China is able to produce the alleged audio recording we can be certain that it has been manipulated somehow or tampered with, using deepfake technology, to put the Philippine military and Philippine government in a bad light. Again all it takes is for the President to inform the public, perhaps through a live
announcement, that the alleged ‘new model’ arrangement is simply fiction and the workings of a frustrated state. The President should also issue a directive being the Commander in Chief of the AFP that no one from the military shall
negotiate or discuss with any diplomat or representative from the Chinese embassy without any consent or authority issued by the Defense department or his office.

Amianan Balita Ngayon