The National Security Council (NSC) said it is joining Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro in his call for the Department of Foreign Affairs to “take appropriate actions against individuals in the Chinese Embassy who claim to have recorded an alleged phone conversation between a Chinese diplomat and a military official” in violation of existing Philippine laws, particularly Republic Act 4200, or the Anti-Wire Tapping Law, as well as for serious breaches of diplomatic protocols and conventions.

In a press statement released by Assistant Director General Jonathan Malaya, National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said the Chinese Embassy’s continued acts of engaging in and dissemination of disinformation, misinformation, and malformation—now releasing spurious transcripts and recordings of purported conversations between officials of the host country—should not be allowed to pass unsanctioned or without serious penalty.

“We emphasize that the unmistakable objective of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) embassy in its indiscriminate releasing of these falsehoods and smears has been, and continues to be, to sow discord, division, and disunity between and among the Filipino people,” The statement said.

“Without a doubt, these are serious breaches of the basic norms of international relations and diplomacy by the embassy,” it added.

The NSC likewise criticized the Chinese Embassy for bypassing officials, channels, and protocols and maliciously releasing purported discussions that it claims to be binding. Año said such claims are “farcical, foolish, and reckless.”

“Those individuals in the Chinese Embassy responsible for violating Philippine laws and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and those responsible for these malign influence and interference operations must be removed from the country immediately,” Año stated.

Days earlier, Teodoro expressed doubts about the authenticity of audio recordings purportedly made by a Chinese diplomat during a conversation with Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, the former head of Western Command. If confirmed, he asserted that the Chinese official violates the Anti-Wiretapping Law and warrants removal from the country.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. likewise said the statement from the Chinese official “does not merit significant concern,” adding that such transcripts can easily be faked and audio recordings can be manufactured by using “deep fakes.”