No passport data lost, breached: gov’t printer

No passport data lost, breached: gov’t printer
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — No passport loss nor breach has occurred in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), APO Production Unit Inc. (APUI), the current Philippine e-passport maker said Monday.

“Walang nali-leak as I was saying. Walang leak, wala kaming nakikitang leak (There’s no leak as I was saying. We don’t see any leak),” APUI chairman Michael Dalumpines said in an interview with reporters.

“Wala, walang natangay (Nothing was stolen),” he added.

Citing a technical staff who was part of the transition when the printing of passport was handed over to APUI, Dalumpines said all data, as well as the equipment used in producing the old machine-readable electronic passports (MREPs), have been deposited to them.

“Na-turn over ‘yong mga equipment to APO and then ‘yong IT guys they were able to do something about it kaya na-restore nila lahat, ‘yon ang pagkakasabi sa akin. Na-retrieve nga (The equipment was turned over to APO and our IT team was able to restore it, that’s what they’ve told me. We retrieved it),” he said.

Both the equipment and data possessed by the previous passport printer are stored inside APUI’s plant in Lipa, Batangas, Dalumpines said.

“Nandoon lahat ng Oberthur na equipment (and) data na pinasa sa amin. Nandoon pa rin hanggang ngayon, nasa Batangas (The equipment of Oberthur as well as the data are with us. It’s all there in Batangas,” he said, adding that the data are also “accessible.”

Barraged by queries on the submission of birth certificate as a requirement for passport renewal, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier said the previous contractor ran off with the data in their possession.

Asked by reporters at the DFA main office on Monday, Locsin declined to issue an official statement regarding the passport mess, saying the agency is still “clearing it” up.”

Together with officials from the DFA-Office of Consular Affairs, Locsin met with representatives of APUI on the same day.

In his past tweets, the DFA chief vowed to get to the bottom of the issue, adding he will also autopsy the “crooked” passport deal in the past administration. (PNA)

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