‘My apologies’: Diplomat Teodoro Locsin responds to backlash after post on Palestinian children

October 23, 2023 - 1:02 PM
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Teodoro Locsin Jr.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in an undated file photo by the Philippine News Agency

Teodoro “Teddy” Locsin Jr., the country’s diplomat to the United Kingdom, deleted his post about killing Palestinian children.

Locsin made this post days after a bomb strike hit a hospital in Gaza, causing the deaths of hundreds of people. Fatalities include Palestinian women and children.

RELATED: UN chief ‘horrified’ by Gaza hospital blast that killed hundreds 

Palestinian officials said an Israeli air strike hit the hospital, with the Palestinian Authority’s health minister accusing Israel of causing a “massacre.”

Israel blamed the blast at Al-Ahli al-Arabi hospital on a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which denied responsibility.

RELATED: Israel retaliates after Hamas attacks, deaths pass 1,100

Part of Locsin’s deleted post reads: “That’s why Palestinian children should be killed; they might grow up to become as gullible as innocent Palestinians letting Hamas launch rockets at Israel. Not that they could stop them but that’s no excuse. They are Muslims. They could stage mass suicide against Hamas until the latter ran out of bullets.”

A Redditor managed to take a screenshot of this post and share it on the subreddit forum r/Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to United Kingdom Teddyboy Locsin: “Palestinian CHILDREN SHOULD BE KILLED; they might grow to become as GULLIBLE AS INNOCENT PALESTINIANS letting Hamas launch rockete at Israel; not that they could stop them but that’s no excuse. They are MUSLIMS.”
byu/inferiorcritic inPhilippines

Locsin quickly received backlash for his post on his X account. He has taken down the post and issued an apology for it.

On October 22, the Philippine ambassador said that his earlier post was a “sarcastic response” to another user on the X app.

“I immediately deleted my sarcastic response to a tweet as I realized it could be misconstrued and retweeted to incite,” he said.

“My apologies to those who did misconstrue my sentiments and did, in fact, get triggered – I obviously was not advocating for the literal death of anyone, but rather simply for the end of any ideology that condones terrorism in any way, shape, or form,” Locsin added.

In a separate post, Locsin also defended himself and reiterated that he was only responding to another user’s post about Israel.

“I was answering a guy who tweeted that we should be grateful to Israel because it has not finished what it can very well complete, the erasure of Gaza from the earth and Palestinians from their homeland. Are we supposed to be grateful that Death has held back its hand from a more sweeping gesture?” he said.

Locsin earned a reputation for his crass language on his X account over the years. He also made headlines for his intriguing and controversial posts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Who dropped the ball? Locsin’s intriguing tweet on Philippines’ vaccine plan Locsin’s tweet bares ‘VIP testing’ still ongoing at Malacañang (philstar.com)

‘Unbecoming for any Filipino’

In a statement on October 22, Lanao del Sur Representative Zia Alonto Adiong denounced Locsin for his earlier post, calling it “unbecoming for a high official.”

“There is no room in Philippine Society, much more in the high offices of government, for the dangerous, bigoted, and islamophobic rhetoric that is palpable in your now deleted statement,” Adiong said.

“It is unbecoming for any Filipino, much more a high official, to visit genocidal machinations upon innocent children of any nation. An ambassador who is tasked to represent the best of our nation, a defender of our nation’s interests, must espouse our nation’s commitment to peace and humanity,” he added.

Several Filipinos also perceived it to be unprofessional and shameful for Locsin to be making such triggering messages online.

“It wasn’t sarcastic. Evil, actually. And coming from a diplomat?” an X user said.

“There’s no justification for whatever he intended to imply. It is utterly irresponsible, considering his position,” another X user commented.

“It’s unacceptable for any public figure, more so a diplomat, to make ‘jokes’ calling for a genocide. And the fact that you would justify it as you ‘wanting to end terrorism’ points out that you did, in fact, mean it, and only backpedaled due to the outcry,” an X user pointed out.