MANILA - Opposition senators have sought a legislative inquiry into the planned airing of Filipino-dubbed Chinese shows on state-run People's Television Network (PTV), saying these may "brainwash" Filipinos.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and minority Senators Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV filed the resolution, citing the need to protect the local broadcast industry from foreign intrusion.
"It is incumbent upon the government to shield the broadcast industry from any form of intrusive and invasive foreign agenda of domination, control, and brainwashing of the Filipino people, be it subtle or explicit," the Senate minority bloc said in a statement.
"The airing of these Chinese shows may subtly inculcate among the Filipinos the authoritarian, one-party state, anti-democratic, and atheist ideology and principles of the Chinese Communist Party," the bloc said in a statement.
Last month, amid unresolved territorial disputes between Manila and Beijing, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua announced China's plan to air movies, documentaries, cartoons and other shows on PTV starting in August to allow Filipinos to "better understand" China.
The opposition lawmakers said under Republic Act 7306 or the PTV Charter, the channel funded by taxpayers' money is meant to "develop the broadcasting industry" and to develop and promote "Filipino sovereignty, identity, national unity and integration."
The planned broadcast of Chinese shows on the state-run channel comes amid warming ties between the Philippines and China, with President Rodrigo Duterte pursuing closer relations with Beijing despite pending disputes over the South China Sea.
Government has also shelved its July 2016 arbitration victory at a United Nations-backed tribunal, which invalidated China's sweeping claims over the strategic waters where $5 trillion in trade goods pass by annually.
The administration earlier said it has been taking diplomatic actions against Chinese militarization in the waters amid criticism over its friendly stance towards China.