Locsin confronts protesters at DFA

Published January 10, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Roy Mabasa 

“No hard feelings.”

This was how Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. described a not-so-good encounter with a group of protesters outside the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) building in Pasay City where he was seen losing his temper and challenging one of them to punch him.

Pro-overseas workers group Migrante was gathered in front of the DFA on Friday calling for government’s orderly and systematic repatriation of Filipinos working in the Middle when Locsin suddenly showed up together with a number of DFA officials and security escorts. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
Pro-overseas workers group Migrante was gathered in front of the DFA on Friday calling for government’s orderly and systematic repatriation of Filipinos working in the Middle East, when Locsin suddenly showed up together with a number of DFA officials and security escorts. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)

Members of pro-overseas workers group Migrante were gathered in front of the DFA on Friday calling for government’s orderly and systematic repatriation of Filipinos working in the Middle East, when Locsin suddenly showed up with a number of DFA officials and security escorts.

The video posted on Twitter by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines showed Locsin apparently grabbing the microphone from Arman Hernando of Migrante International who, at that time, was speaking in front of other protesters.

When Hernando refused to hand the mic to Locsin, the latter was heard to say, “O, sige, bugbugin mo ako!” (Alright then, beat me up!)

Locsin was seen angrily leaving the scene but immediately decided to return with his bodyguards behind him and started talking to reporters covering the rally.

Some of the protesters were said to be relatives and family members of OFWs in the Middle East.

“(Through) the taxes that you pay, the Filipino people pay, we will bring our people back because this is where they belong. Kung gusto nila, okay?” Locsin was also heard telling the rallyists.

When sought for comment on the incident, DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said he does not see the need for the department to issue a statement. “Freedom of impassioned speech is guaranteed and I think the full video shows both sides aired their views. As SFA’s (Locsin) tweet on the matter shows – no hard feelings.”

Meñez also belittled the Migrante protest, saying that based on the signs and hashtags, they were “at the wrong address on Roxas Boulevard.”

On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered various government agencies to facilitate the repatriation of Filipinos in Iraq following the killing of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a United States drone strike.

READ MORE: Body of top Iranian commander killed by US strike in Iraq returned to Iran

Alert Level 4 (mandatory evacuation) is still hoisted over Iraq.

READ MORE: PH orders evacuation of OFWs

 
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