The ANC Brief: Passport mess


Posted at Jan 15 2019 04:19 AM

More questions in the ongoing saga of the DFA’s passport mess. Then, a possible dialogue between President Duterte and the Church. Here are the stories ANC will be covering today:

Passport puzzle
Former DFA Sec. Perfecto Yasay Jr. said he thinks no data was stolen by the previous passport contractor. APO Production Unit Inc. chair Michael Dalumpines said all the data is intact. DFA Sec. Teddy Locsin Jr. said the data is corrupted but not leaked. The PNP said it considers the data breach as a threat to national security. Sens. Trillanes and Hontiveros filed resolutions asking for a probe on the issue. Mon Liboro of the National Privacy Commission will on Early Edition to talk about any threat as a result of this whole brouhaha. 

The Palace said it sees no problem with a Chinese takeover of Hanjin in Subic. An analyst said it’s too early to tell if national security is at risk if the Chinese takeover. The stock market seemed to have shrugged off the downturn from the Hanjin sell-off with the index rising above the 8000 level, led by a rebound of banking stocks. The trade department said they are already talking to interested Chinese firms.

Never the twain shall meet?
Presidential spokesman Sal Panelo said President Duterte is willing to dialogue with Church leaders. This after reports said Senate President Tito Sotto is trying to broker talks between the two sides. Lately, the President has been blitzing the Church and its leaders in his recent speeches. Is a resolution to their conflict, or at least a compromise, in the offing? 

Budget woes
Both the House and the Senate will hold more deliberations on the budget in an effort to finally pass the 2019 General Appropriations Act. At the Senate, the budgets of some agencies like the DOH, the Bureau of Immigration, the Comelec and the Defense Department will be discussed. In the Senate, Sen. Ping Lacson raised the issue of a supposed P75-billion insertion in the budget of the DPWH.


Election fever
The PNP and the Comelec are set to discuss so-called “areas of concern,” or areas where violence could break out in the next elections. The DepEd will also hold a press conference to issue election reminders and give other updates on the elections. In Cotabato City, ballots for the Jan. 21 plebiscite on the Bangsamoro Organic Law will arrive.