Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has apologized to China over what President Rodrigo Duterte perceived as his “rude” remark against the Chinese government.
Locsin had told China to “get the f*ck out” of the West Philippine Sea amid its refusal to withdraw its fishing vessels in the disputed territory despite repeated appeals and diplomatic protests filed by the Philippine government.
In his press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Locsin apologized to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
“Kami ay nagkausap ni Secretary Locsin at pinaalam niya sa akin na personal siyang nag-apologize sa Chinese ambassador at ang mga nabanggit niya na salita ay dahil lang sa mga bagay-bagay na naging dahilan para uminit ang kanyang ulo (Secretary Locsin and I talked and he told me that he personally apologized to the Chinese ambassador and he said he made the statement because there were circumstances that made him lose his temper).”
The apology of Locsin came after President Duterte during his Monday public address said the Philippines should not be “rude” to China because the country remains the Philippines’ “benefactor.”
“Just because we have a conflict with China, does not mean to say that we have to be rude and disrespectful,” Duterte said.
Duterte did not mention Locsin during his public address. However, when asked if the President was referring to the recent remarks of the Department of Foreign Affairs Chief, Roque answered in the affirmative.
Roque said the President also instructed him to tell Cabinet officials that there is no place for profanities in the area of diplomacy.
“What was clear from the President’s instruction to me last night after our private meeting with [Defense] Secretary [Delfin] Lorenzana is that he does not approve of the use of profanities particularly in the field of diplomacy.”
“Sabihin mo nga sa ibang mga Cabinet, ako lang pwedeng magmura, wala nang ibang magmumura lalo na pagdating sa diplomasya (Tell members of the Cabinet not to curse, no one else except for me should curse, especially in the area of diplomacy),” Roque said quoting the President.
“The President is the principal. All the Cabinet members are alter egos. I guess the guidance being given by the President now is you have no authority to use profanities particularly in the sensitive field of diplomacy,” Roque added.