Privacy body warns: Don't jump to conclusions over passport mess

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 14 2019 09:17 AM

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MANILA - The public should not draw hasty conclusions over an alleged security breach after a private contractor ran off with the passport data of millions of Filipinos, the National Privacy Commission warned Monday.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. claimed over the weekend that a private contractor ran off with passport data, causing its non-availability, when the firm's contract terminated.

The public should not panic because there could be many reasons for the non-availability of the data, said NPC Chairman Raymund Liboro.

"Kung hindi ho nila ma-access iyan o walang availability, e hindi ho kaagad iyan confidentiality issue or integrity issue. Huwag ho tayo agad tumalon sa ganoong konklusyon," he told radio DZMM.

(If they cannot access the data or there is no availability, this does not mean that its automatically a confidentiality or integrity issue. Let's not jump to that conclusion.)

"Iyung integridad po ng passport ang pinag-uusapan dito. Ayaw po nating malagay sa alanganin ang mga kababayan po natin abroad na nagtatangan ng passport. Baka mag-react din po ang ibang nasyon tungkol dito, magduda," he added.

(We are talking about the integrity of the passport here. We do not want to put in jeopardy our workers abroad who are passport holders. Other nations may react about this and raise doubts.)

The NPC on Monday morning will send invitations to representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to attend the investigation on the issue, said Liboro.