Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. told Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. to “lighten up” as he recovered access to his controversial Twitter account after being locked out on March 9, Monday.
The country’s top diplomat retweeted a news item of a media outlet that earlier reported that he was locked out of his account after Reyes flagged one of his tweets as “offensive” and “threatening.”
The news item featured composite pictures of the faces of Locsin and Reyes. The former is shown smiling while the latter appeared confrontational on the file photos used.
The juxtaposition and photo choice amused Locsin, who retweeted the news item with a remark, “See that smile? Lighten up my friend.”
See that smile? Lighten up my friend. https://t.co/xH8jpsxGr3
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) March 9, 2020
Reyes, for his part, welcomed Locsin when he found out that the country’s top diplomat was able to access his Twitter account again.
The activist retweeted Locsin’s “lighten up” tweet and said, “Let’s all welcome back to Twitter Teddyboy Locsin who by now should have learned his lesson. We hope he starts treating with respect those who hold differing views. Stop wishing that they be shot.”
Reyes additionally questioned why the microblogging platform would quickly reopen Locsin’s account given that the latter violated one of Twitter’s policies.
“Why is Teddyboy Locsin able to tweet again? It’s because he may have followed the conditions set by Twitter which includes deleting the offensive tweet that violated Twitter rules,” he said.
“The important thing here is we put those in power on notice that they can’t always have their way,” Reyes added.
Locsin was locked out of his Twitter account on March 9 after Reyes reported one of his tweets that featured the former’s remarks against Bayan’s statements on the Philippines-United States Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
The diplomat originally wrote as he shared the news item, “These are f****** communists. You shoot them. You don’t listen to them.”
The news item was about Bayan’s opposition to the continuation of the Balikatan military exercise among American and Filipino soldiers even though VFA is on its way to being terminated.
Reyes reported the “abusive” tweet that contained Locsin’s violent remark and encouraged the public to “fight back against those who wish to silence dissent.”
It is to be noted that members of Bayan or other organizations associated with it does not necessarily mean they are communists or supporters of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
This is not the first time that Locsin has made headlines about his behavior on Twitter. Last year, he hurled expletives at a reporter for her live coverage of him during the 2019 ASEAN Summit.
He also surprised the international community when he tweeted that they could “f**k off” after a Filipino suggested that he “ask other friendly nation for support” about the Chinese vessel ramming incident in the Reed Bank.
When Locsin was assigned to become the country’s top diplomat, concerns were immediately raised about his use of language and profanity on social media where he has a public profile.