Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. earlier said that since the contract has been terminated, the passport applicants’ information was rendered inaccessible for the contractor.
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Senate to push through with passport probe
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Aquilino Pimentel  III will push through with the Senate inquiry into the passport data controversy at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Pimentel said the inquiry will proceed despite the clarification made by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. that the information affected by the data breach was not “run-away-able.”

Locsin earlier said that since the contract has been terminated, the passport applicants’ information was rendered inaccessible for the contractor.

“The Senate inquiry will continue. I recall that there’s another government agency whose service provider is in custody of data. Not only is this being practiced in the DFA,” Pimentel said in Filipino over dwIZ radio.

Pimentel said he demands to know how passport holders fell hostage to a service provider and contractor who handled personal data.

“Why would the government enter into this kind of contract?” he asked.

In a Twitter post, Locsin claimed that “data is not run-away-able but made inaccessible. Access denied. But APO (the latest contractor) assured me they were able to access but not much use and parts corrupted.”

Meanwhile, Pimentel appealed to Locsin and other officials not to turn to social media on issues involving the government.

“I play chess. I use terms like touch move... It’s difficult on Twitter. It’s hard to retract our statements,” he said.

He recalled that during former president Benigno  Aquino III’s administration, some officials were either fired or asked to resign for posting controversial comments in social media.

Pimentel said verification of facts must be done first before putting it on social media.

For her part, Sen. Leila de Lima has joined the call to hold government officials and private contractors involved in the passport fiasco accountable.

“The government officials and contractors who are involved in this data breach must be held accountable and liable. There is need to determine the extent of government accountability leading to this malfeasance and how to prevent the same from happening again,” she said.

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS PASSPORT TEDDY LOCSIN JR.
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