Ro­bredo, se­na­tors: Probe DFA pass­port data mess

Watchmen Daily Journal - - NATION - (Camille Elemia, Rap­pler.com)

MANILA – Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo called on gov­ern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate and act on the sup­posed pass­port data mess in the Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs (DFA).

Ro­bredo agreed with Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Franklin Drilon's call for gov­ern­ment to file charges against the out­sourced pass­port maker.

“Nakak­ag­im­bal iyon at saka nakakatakot. Parang lumal­abas, iy­ong con­trac­tor, iy­ong naatasan na – iy­ong may kon­trata na gu­mawa ng at­ing mga pass­ports, parang iti­nakas iy­ong buong data… iy­ong buong data sys­tem. Parang gus­tong sabi­hin, may­roon siyang ac­cess sa la­hat na datos natin,” Ro­bredo said on her ra­dio show on RMN.

(It is shock­ing and scary. It ap­pears that the con­trac­tor, which has the au­thor­ity to make our pass­ports, took away our en­tire data sys­tem. It's like say­ing they have ac­cess to all of our data.)

Ro­bredo agreed it is against the law and should be ques­tioned in court.

Se­na­tors Drilon and Pan­filo Lac­son said gov­ern­ment should in­ves­ti­gate the fraud. Drilon said the Com­mis­sion on Au­dit, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice, and the Na­tional Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion – which al­ready vowed to do so – could in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

(It should be in­ves­ti­gated. First of all, based on what I read in the news­pa­pers, APO was the con­trac­tor for the APO print­ing. Why was APO able to sub­con­tract? There was sup­pos­edly a pro­hi­bi­tion in the MOA against sub­con­tract­ing. Why were they able to do it? As for APO, let's check why APO did this and how they chose the sub­con­trac­tor.)

“An in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tion should im­me­di­ately be con­ducted and those re­spon­si­ble must be made to face and suf­fer the con­se­quences. Those data­bases in the hands of pri­vate con­trac­tors will def­i­nitely com­pro­mise vi­tal in­for­ma­tion of in­di­vid­u­als who have dealt with those agen­cies, and the num­ber runs into mil­lions of peo­ple,” Lac­son said.

Other se­na­tors called on the DFA to ex­plain how and why the breach hap­pened, with Se­na­tor Aquilino Pi­mentel III say­ing he will file a res­o­lu­tion.

“Da­pat mag­pali­wanag ang DFA kung bakit nang­yari ‘yan. Paano nag­ing posi­ble ‘yan?” Pi­mentel said. (The DFA should ex­plain what hap­pened. How was it pos­si­ble?)

“And I am fil­ing a res­o­lu­tion to find out more. We need to know what other data-gath­er­ing gov­ern­ment agen­cies have en­tered into such a con­tract which is dis­ad­van­ta­geous to the gov­ern­ment and the peo­ple,” Pi­mentel added.

Se­na­tor Risa Hon­tiveros said: “The Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs owes the en­tire coun­try an ex­pla­na­tion. The re­cent ad­mis­sion that a pri­vately con­tracted firm took the en­tire phys­i­cal data­base of all of the coun­try's pass­port hold­ers in­di­cates a se­ri­ous na­tional se­cu­rity risk, and is ev­i­dence of the Duterte gov­ern­ment's gross in­com­pe­tence in pro­tect­ing the peo­ple's pri­vate data.”

DFA Sec­re­tary Teodoro “Ted­dy­boy” Loc­sin Jr. ear­lier bared on Twit­ter that a for­mer con­trac­tor “took off ” with per­sonal data after the firm sup­pos­edly “got pissed when [the con­tract was] ter­mi­nated” by the gov­ern­ment. But he has yet to men­tion the name of the con­trac­tor.

Loc­sin had blamed past ad­min­is­tra­tions for the fraud and as­sured the pub­lic that it would not hap­pen again. Ne­ti­zens ex­pressed con­cern about this in­ci­dent, but Loc­sin main­tained that it is “not a ques­tion of data pri­vacy.”

(Rap­pler file photo)

Vice Pres­i­dent Leni Ro­bredo and se­na­tors call for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the pass­port data breach, al­legedly com­mit­ted by the con­trac­tor.

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