Trillanes advises Locsin: Spend less time on Twitter

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Thursday, January 17, urged Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr to spend less time on Twitter following the passport data controversy sparked by the Cabinet official's social media post last week.

Trillanes made the statement in a media forum with Senate reporters on Thursday, when asked about the supposed passport data breach at the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier bared by Locsin himself, which later turned out to be a false alarm.

"Sa akin, one unsolicited advice kay Secretary Locsin is mag-focus na muna siya sa trabaho niya as top diplomat at lubay-lubayan niya muna ang social media kasi hindi naman siya kumakampanya, hindi siya elective official, diplomat siya," the senator said.

(I have one unsolicited advice for Secretary Locsin. He should focus on his job as a top diplomat and go slow on his social media because he's not campaigning, he's not an elective official, he's a diplomat.)

Last week, Locsin said in a tweet that a contractor had "made off with data" of passport applicants because it "got pissed." A week later, he said this was not the case.

Trillanes said Locsin should have studied the whole passport data issue first before tweeting that a former DFA contractor "took off" with passport holders' personal data, a revelation that alarmed citizens.

Malacañang called it a "serious and grave matter," while Vice President Leni Robredo and senators, including Trillanes, pushed  for an investigation into the passport data mess.

Trillanes agreed that Locsin should have been more cautious with making such allegations.

"Definitely kasi nag-create siya ng concern sa mga kababayan natin…. At isa pa 'yung security consideration ng data breach na 'yan. At puno't dulo niyan nakababad siya sa Twitter. Hindi niya pala alam ang sitwasyon. Research muna siya dapat para malalim ang kanyang nalalaman, hindi ganyan na babawiin niya," Trillanes said.

(Definitely because he created a cause of concern for our countrymen…. Another is the security consideration of that data breach. This happened because he's always on Twitter. It turned out he didn't know the entire situation. He should do research first to deepen his knowledge, instead of ending up recanting what he said earlier.)

He said he observed Locsin often engages in "tit for tat" on Twitter. "It can consume him…. It can distract him," Trillanes said.

Locsin has been active on social media, particularly Twitter, even before he joined the Duterte administration. – Rappler.com