'I apologized only to China's foreign minister', says Locsin

Published May 4, 2021, 4:11 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Tuesday said he apologized for his profanity-laden tweet against China only to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and not to the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. (Twitter/Teddy Boy Locsin)

This was contrary to an earlier statement made by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that the DFA secretary “personally apologized” to Ambassador Huang Xilian over the controversial tweet.

“Hindi sa Chinese ambassador. Trabaho niya ay tumanggap ng reklamo o insulto. Kay State Counselor Foreign Minister Wang Yi, ang pinaka matalino at personableng diplomat sa buong mundo. (Not to the Chinese ambassador. His job is to receive complaints and insults. It’s with State Counselor Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the most intelligent and personable diplomat in the world). Harry understands my hair-trigger temper under repeated provocation,” Locsin said in a tweet.

In a Twitter post on Monday, Locsin expressed his apparent exasperation over China’s belligerent actions in the West Philippine Sea, the latest of which was the Chinese Coast Guard’s blocking of the Philippine Coast Guards vessels conducting maritime exercises in Philippine waters.

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see… O… Get the f—k out. What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. Yu. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province,” the country’s top diplomat said in a tweet that made headlines in many parts of the world.

After talking to Locsin, Roque stated that the President’s message to his Cabinet is very clear: Profanity has no place in diplomacy.

The Palace spokesman admitted that the President’s reminder against rude and disrespectful remarks towards China stemmed from Locsin’s tweet. He, however, pointed out that the President did not ask the DFA secretary to apologize.

In a subsequent tweet, Locsin claimed that his “hair-trigger temper” compelled him to post an expletive-laced message against China.

“Wish I didn’t have a hair-trigger temper but what can you do, Montelibano blood,” the foreign secretary said, referring to his blood relation with the landed Montelibano clan from Negros and Western Visayas.