Baguio police tracking down source of COVID-19 patients’ info leak

Michelle Soriano, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2020 05:39 PM

Police in Baguio City are looking for the person who leaked private information of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients on social media. 

“Meron tayong short list of people who should know the names na nagko-confirm. And dapat it should be kept to the circle. Lahat ng may access to that information, lahat ng napasahan, ay kasama po sa iniimbestigahan kung saan nanggaling,” said BCPO Director Police Colonel Allen Rae Co. 

(We have a short list of people who should know the names who confirmed. And it should be kept to the circle. All those with access to that information, those who received the information are included in the investigation.) 

Names of some COVID-19 patients in Baguio spread on social media last week, causing some residents to question the safeguards of authority’s contact-tracing efforts. 

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued a statement condemning the act. 

"People who revealed and shared the post are heartless, insensitive, callous and grossly irresponsible. We will find each one of them and charge them in court. I don’t really care who they are," Magalong said in a statement. 

Atty. Francis Rae Camtugan was among those who received the leaked information from a friend who lives in Metro Manila. The list contained names of alleged new COVID-19 cases in Baguio, along with specific addresses and other contact details. 

Camtugan said the leak is a violation of the Data Privacy Act of 2012. 

“I was surprised so I started making comments na. If you look at the Data Privacy Law, the name is a protected information,” Camtugan said.

“If there is someone in the government or a high-ranking official who is leaking this information, he should or she should immediately resign para magkaroon ng credibility ulit yung contact tracing. Kasi naka-depend nga tayo sa contact tracing.”