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Gov’t orders investigation on DFA passport data breach

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2019

Philippine passport
Philippine passport

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday (January 14) assured that the National Privacy Commission (NPC) has already been ordered to investigate the recent passport data breach at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) which the Palace considered as a “serious and grave matter”.

The incident, disclosed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin himself, stemmed when a previous contractor got disappointed that its contract was terminated and left with all passport applicants’ data.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a statement on Monday said the NPC has been directed also “to ascertain whether certain provisions of Republic Act No. 10173, otherwise known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012, have been violated, particularly with respect to the personal information of the data subjects.”

Panelo explained that applicants “should not be burdened” by submitting original copies of their birth certificates and the submission of the old or current passport should be enough requirement to renew their passports.

“The ongoing practice is not only cumbersome to everyone affected but is a form of red tape which this administration frowns upon and will not tolerate,” Panelo said.

“The investigation should not, however, end here since the current arrangement for the printing of passports should also be examined to determine if there are violations of pertinent laws which may be detrimental to the public,” he added.

In a tweet on Sunday (January 13), Locsin assured that there is “no leak so far” of the passport holders’ data.

“But the data is possibly hopelessly corrupted and at any rate inaccessible now or we are being lied to as usual,” he said.

Image grabbed from Teddy Locsin Jr. twitter

In another tweet, Locsin said he will definitely identify those behind the mess which he considers a prelude to “social media campaign against” him by his detractors.

Image grabbed from Teddy Locsin Jr. twitter

Marje Pelayo

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7 Filipino seafarers detained in Libya to return home

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, March 11th, 2019

Image by 2019 Google Maps

The seven Filipino seafarers who were recently released in Libya are on their way back to the Philippines.

According to the statement of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The seven Filipino seafarers already left Tripoli with Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Affairs, Abdullah Mamao who personally thanked the Libyan authorities, upon the instructions of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr.

Secretary Locsin also expressed his appreciation to the Libyan authorities for ordering the release of the seven seafarers.

The Libyan High Court ordered their release on February 28 after they were sentenced to four years of imprisonment for allegedly smuggling 16 million liters of oil.—Aileen Cerrudo

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DFA dismisses consular officer for disrespecting PWD applicant

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, March 11th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has relieved a consular officer from his duties on Friday after disrespecting and humiliating a polio-stricken journalist while applying for a passport.

Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr., in his Twitter post, apologized for the incident.

DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato confirmed the dismissal of the said consular officer.

Macon Ramos-Araneta, journalist of the Manila Standard, reported in her Facebook post on Friday, that she was questioned by a consular officer for having polio after only giving a photocopy of her PWD card.

The said consular officer even asked a security guard to check her feet.

“I’m wrong for presenting only a Xerox copy of my PWD ID, but I wasn’t lying when I told that I have polio. In the first place, why would I fake it, why would you want to be a polio victim?” she said in her post.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Libya acquits 7 Filipino seafarers in oil smuggling case

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

Flag of Libya (Source: Shutter stock)

Repatriation of the seven Filipino seafarers who were detained for alleged economic sabotage, is underway after the Libyan High Court ordered their release.

The seven Filipino seafarers, who consistently denied the allegations, were sentenced by a lower court to four years imprisonment last year for purportedly attempting to smuggle six million liters of oil.

According to Chargé d’Affaires Melicor, they are among the 20 Filipino seafarers of M/T Levante who were taken into custody after the Libyan Coast Guard seized the Liberian-flagged tanker.

Authorities released the 13 other Filipino seafarers in February last year.

Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. expressed appreciation for the assistance of the Libyan authorities in the seafarers’ acquittal. —Aileen Cerrudo

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