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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Teodoro Locsin, Jr. Under Fire for ‘Irresponsible’ Tweet

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs is once again at the center of a diplomatic issue after he made a statement about Sabah, Malaysia.

Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin, Jr., Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary, is no stranger to controversial tweets and statements.

In 2019, Inquirer.net accused him of “undiplomatic behavior” as the Foreign Affairs Secretary tweeted expletives to one of their writers. The writer, Jhesset Enano, tweeted a photo of the DFA secretary at the 35th ASEAN Summit in Thailand which she was tasked to cover. Locsin’s reply was “Uh, did you get the p******** I sent you? That’s the last event, purely ceremonial and short. [Indonesian President] Jokowi had left, [Malaysian President] Mahathir too.”

Another was in 2016 when he was frequently tweeting Nazi-related content. One tweet read, “The Nazis will tell you need to organize these things on a large scale: try concentration camps,” which was a reply to a Huffington Post tweet regarding a black man who was strangled to death by a cop. (Read: Catriona Gray takes stand on racism, joins ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement) Locsin has also tweeted multiple tweets with expletives directed at various Twitter users.

And now, Locsin is facing another issue because of a tweet. The DFA secretary recently tweeted, “Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines,” after the US Embassy in the Philippines tweeted photos of a donation they made for “Filipino repatriated from Sabah, Malaysia.”

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein was quick to call out Locsin’s statement and announced that they will be summoning the Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia to their office. The Foreign Minister adds that “Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia.”

Sabah, Malaysia

Photo from Investvine

Sabah is an area occupied by Malaysia but is claimed by the Philippines. There has been a dispute on the Sabah territory for centuries now, but officially, it is part of Malaysia and it is rightfully recognized so by other countries.

This is also not the first time a Philippine Ambassador was summoned by the Foreign Affairs Department of a country over a tweet made by Locsin. In 2018, the acting Philippine Ambassador to Germany Lilibeth Pono was summoned after Locsin tweeted about President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on Adolf Hitler.

This is a reminder that everyone should think before they click, as statements over social media will stay forever and can even cause you trouble. (Read: My Pope-approved tips on how to behave in social media)

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