Newspaper slams Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin over vulgar tweet aimed at reporter

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. <i>Photo: ABS-CBN News/Malacañang Palace handout </i>
DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. Photo: ABS-CBN News/Malacañang Palace handout

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the country’s top newspapers, called out the country’s top diplomat, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., over a decidedly undiplomatic tweet in which he cursed at one of their reporters, Jhesset Enano.

Locsin’s testy tweet was in reaction to Enano’s post divulging that the DFA secretary was the one present at the closing ceremony of this month’s ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, instead of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The diplomat’s first response to Enano was, “One event you shet (sic) & just ceremony.” He said Duterte had to leave early or else he’d be stuck in Bangkok.

Photo: Locsin/Twitter
Photo: Locsin/Twitter

However, Locsin’s follow-up tweet to Enano was harsher. “Uh, did you get the putangina I sent you? That’s the last event, purely ceremonial and short. Jokowi had left, Mahathir too.”

Putang ina happens to be most Filipinos’ favorite profanity, and literally translates to “your mother’s a whore.”

Photo: Locsin/Twitter
Photo: Locsin/Twitter

In a statement today responding to the secretary’s remarks, The Inquirer said that “it takes umbrage at the profane and insulting tweet” that Locsin directed at Enano.

“It was unbecoming of a diplomat and public official, and totally undeserved by Enano, who was doing her job reporting on President Duterte at the Asean summit with the professionalism, focus, and comprehensiveness that our readers deserve,” The Inquirer said.

Instead of apologizing for his actions, Locsin tried to weasel his way out of the controversy, adding a touch of sexism to his previous profanity before going on to lionize Duterte for his excellent summit etiquette.

In a tweet today, Locsin said that had he known that Enano “was a lady I’d have let it pass,” and insisted that Duterte stuck it out at the summit “from start to finish.” He also commended Duterte for “enduring statements far longer than his own because he has the breeding to listen to those who heard him.”

Locsin also gave props to Duterte for not dozing off “like leaders of great powers do.”

“He won’t even [leave] when I tell him I can sit in his place since he’s spoken,” he added.

This is not the first time that Locsin has acted in a manner unbefitting of his post as the country’s top diplomat. In addition to routinely peppering his tweets with four-letter words, in June, he called Vice President Leni Robredo “stupid” when the latter criticized his move to cancel all courtesy diplomatic passports. Before his appointment to the Department of Foreign Affairs, he also courted backlash in 2016 when he defended Hitler on Twitter and said that the Nazis “were right after all.”

The tweets can no longer be found and have been erased from Locsin’s Twitter account.

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