Despite criticism, Locsin demands apology from Inquirer reporter

Sofia Tomacruz
Despite criticism, Locsin demands apology from Inquirer reporter
'Say sorry. Now,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

MANILA, Philippines – Despite backlash over cursing a journalist on Twitter, Foreign Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr on Thursday, November 7, demanded an Inquirer journalist apologize for tweeting President Rodrigo Duterte’s absence at the closing ceremony of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

“I will apologize to the lady [if] she apologizes to Duterte for her slanders and that idiot newspaper vows never to slant stories about him again,” Locsin said, referring to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He added, “Her and the Inquirer’s president works his ass off for the country. Say sorry. Now.”

The Philippines’ top diplomat was responding to crticism against him after he blasted expletives at Inquirer Journalist Jhesset Enano, who had been assigned to cover the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand. Enano tweeted a photo that showed Locsin sitting in for Duterte at the summit’s closing ceremony.

 

 

Locsin, himself was a former journalist, had tweeted “Uh, did you get the putangina (son of a bitch) I sent you?” as he defended Duterte’s absence at the ASEAN summit’s closing ceremony.

Responding to the incident, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, along with press groups the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines called out the “abusive and harassing profanity” displayed in Locsin’s tweet.

The groups pointed out Locsin’s response was “unbecoming” for the nation’s top diplomat, who was expected to present the “best of the Philippines.” NUJP said Locsin owed both Enano and the public an apology “for treating a citizen so unjustly.”

 

   

 

Prior to his tweet demanding Enano and Inquirer apologize, Locsin once again cursed at a journalist from the Philippine Star who pointed out the professionalism required of public officials under Republic Act (RA) 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Among the provisions of RA 6713 include norms of conduct of public officials which state “Public officials and employees shall perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill.”

The law also says “Public officials and employees shall extend prompt, courteous, and adequate service to the public.”

Locsin’s tweet has since been deleted. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.