Filipino Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin on Tuesday apologized for “cursing” China in connection with its military presence in southern China’s waters, stating that “only (Rodrigo) Duterte can do this”.
President’s spokesman Harry Roque has indicated that Duterte himself reminded him and the rest of the cabinet that “they have no authority to insult, especially on sensitive matters such as diplomatic matters”.
“Tell them that I am the only one who can curse, nobody else, especially in diplomacy,” he said after information from the Rappler news portal.
The controversy arose after Locsin openly showed his dissatisfaction with the use of Chinese ships in the disputed waters after repeatedly urging Beijing to withdraw those ships.
“A bloody time ago,” Locsin pointed out via Twitter after the Philippines presented China with a new protest notice for its “warlike” actions in the region.
Shortly thereafter, however, Locsin had to apologize to the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for his “expletives”. On the contrary, he did not apologize to the Chinese ambassador for precisely “receiving complaints and insults”.
“I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings, but only yours,” Locsin said to Wang. “It has always been my dream to copy the elegance of Wang Yi. Your opinion matters,” he added.