DFA passport data loss 'national security threat' – PNP

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) considers the passport data loss by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) a "national security threat," top cop Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Monday, January 14.

"Pwede. Kasi napakarami niyan. Not only the threat to national security but also the threat of our identities. Napakarami na pilipino na kumuha ng passport. Nandon lahat ng iyong information. That is one threat," Albayalde said, responding to a reporter who asked whether the alleged data theft was a case of a threat to the country's security.

(It can be. Because that is a lot. Not only is it a threat to national security but also a threat to our identities. There are so many Filipinos who obtained passports. All their personal information is there.)

Albayalde was referring to the revelation of DFA Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr, who announced in a tweet that a disgruntled private contractor "took off" with the personal data of Filipinos after its contract with the government had lapsed.

The PNP said it is ready to dispatch its specialized crime-solving groups to crack the case, but it is waiting for the formal request of the DFA for them to step in. 

Police chief Albayalde said the DFA may prefer to handle the case "internally." (READ: PH privacy commission to probe passport data loss)

Albayalde said its Anti-Cybercrime Group, Information Technology Management Service, and its powerful Criminal Investigation and Detection Group are ready to assist in any probe.

"We will be very much willing to help them. As I said, it can be a threat to national security and also the privacy of all individuals concerned," Albayalde said in a mix of English and Filipino. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.