Passport maker belies Locsin’s claim, says no passport data leak

No passport data was lost nor breached in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the current maker of Philippine e-passport said on Monday, Jan. 14.

Michael Dalumpines, chairman of APO Production Unit Inc. (APUI), said in an interview with reporters that contrary to the claim of DFA secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., no passport data were stolen.

“There’s no leak as I was saying. We don’t see any leak),” Dalumpines said.

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.

“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.

“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, Locsin 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. — Joyce Ann L. Rocamora (PNA)

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