Wed. Aug 4th, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on Monday night that government officials should show respect towards China places Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in the spotlight anew over the latter’s using Twitter to express his sentiments.

Locsin on Monday unleashed a barrage of expletive-laced messages on Twitter telling China to get its vessels out of the West Philippine Sea.

“China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see … O … GET THE FUCK OUT,” Locsin said in a tweet on his personal account.

“What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. 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 official said.

However, Duterte reminded government officials not to be disrespectful towards China even if the two countries are locked in a maritime dispute.

“China remains to be our benefactor and just because – if I may just add something to the narrative – just because we have a conflict with China does not mean to say that we have to be rude and disrespectful,” he said.

Duterte, who previously thanked China for its donated vaccines, noted that the Philippines owed a lot to their East Asian neighbor.

“As a matter of fact, we have many things to thank China for their help in the past and the help they’re giving now,” he added.

Early this year, Locsin was criticized by retired ambassador Alberto Encomienda over the DFA secretary’s use of “Twitter diplomacy.”

“The way we do it in the diplomatic field, we send out feelers first. We just don’t go to public media, Twitter, or whatever and start talking something, which hasn’t been cleared with the other side,” The former envoys said in an online forum on January 27, 2021.

Encomienda was referring to Locsin’s way of handling the country’s claim over Sabah in Malaysia, where the latter posted statements on Twitter.

Locsin tweeted “Sabah is not in Malaysia.” Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein replied that such was “an irresponsible statement.” SOVEREIGNPH

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