Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s expletive-laced statement against China amid West Philippine Sea (WPS) disputes is not part of the Philippine government’s policy, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
This, after Locsin made a scathing remark against China due to the continued presence of Chinese vessels in WPS.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Duterte had instructed him to issue a statement that Cabinet officials are not authorized to use profanities, particularly in the “sensitive” field of diplomacy.
“I am issuing a clarification, upon expressed order of the President, it is not a policy of the Philippines. The President already made a clarification with regard to this issue,” Roque said in a virtual presser.
Locsin, in a Twitter post on Monday, told China to “get the f*** out” of WPS.
The country’s top diplomat also questioned China’s sincerity because of its incursions into the Philippine waters despite its friendship with the Philippines.
Roque said Locsin’s statement against China is part of his “free speech.”
Locsin, nevertheless, already apologized to Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian for his harsh remarks against China, Roque said.
Locsin told Roque in a phone conversation on Tuesday morning that his remarks were prompted by circumstances that made him lose his cool.
“I talked with Secretary Locsin and he informed me that he personally apologized to the Chinese ambassador and that the words he said were prompted by things that made him lose his temper,” Roque said.
Roque also clarified that Duterte did not order Locsin to issue an apology.
“The President did not ask him to apologize but Secretary Locsin did it on his own,” he said.In a public address delivered Monday night, Duterte reminded Philippine officials that there is no need for them to be “rude and disrespectful” despite the Philippines and China’s competing claims in WPS. SOVEREIGNPH