More reactions to Ambassador’s tweet

Muslim professionals, especially lawyers, were the first to react to the notorious tweet.
More reactions to Ambassador’s tweet

Still, on the controversial tweet of Ambassador Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. about killing Palestinian children, which has become a regular dish for discussion among Muslim and non-Muslim netizens, this column is giving way to the expression of the sentiments of readers.

The following are snippets from selected posts on social media to show how pervasively this has affected Filipinos.

The provincial government of Tawi-Tawi, through Governor Ysmael Sali, "expressed displeasure over the irresponsible and insensitive statement of (the) Ambassador." Former Board Member Ramon Salapuddin shared the sentiment.

Governor Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat called for "the resignation… he is not befitting an ambassador."

Governor Sakur Tan Sr. of Sulu had a well-crafted and poignant statement, viz.: "…a diplomat should act in tune with established decorum, a level above ordinary citizen. That statement was as destructive and damaging as the rockets and missiles raining over Gaza. This not only shatters the essence of humanity and the values that we hold dear as a people and a nation but is an affront to the principles we hold dear in the international community and under our own Philippine laws."

After quoting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Governor Tan continued: "No justification can excuse the harming of innocent children. The words that came from you are not only a violation of these principles but also undermine the values enshrined in our own Philippine Constitution and statutes. These values are deeply embedded in our nation's fabric, that takes pride in compassion, tolerance, and respect for all. Your derogatory, demeaning, and condescending words reveal your phobic mindset and preconceived view of Islam and Muslims. Such statement is unacceptable and unbecoming. Mr. Locsin (should) deeply reflect on the gravity of his words and the impact they have had on our nation's image and the hearts of our Muslim communities and peace-loving citizens."

In an open letter addressed to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Muammar Tomara Ayo, Ph.D., counselor-at-law and former president of DFA Muslim Personnel  Association or DFAMPA, said his admiration of Ambassador Locsin "went to the bin when I read his revolting tweet on the killing of Palestinian children."

He asked for his recall "soonest as RP envoy to the UK," citing the disbarment case filed against him, the petition for his resignation, the DFA distancing itself from the controversial tweet, and the fact that he is now the subject of protests and rallies on social media, and for other reasons. He said the Ambassador's tweet "is a faux pas and diplomatic stigma (and) he will always be remembered as the tweeting ambassador to kill the Palestinian children."

This was followed by an "official statement" from DFAMPA which "expresses dismay and serious concern" over the tweet of Ambassador Locsin which allegedly "violated Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and Department Order No. 16-20145. It asked the Ambassador to "exercise constraints and tactfulness …as such may unnecessarily compromise Philippine foreign policy and the safety of overseas Filipinos."

Muslim professionals, especially lawyers, were the first to react to the notorious tweet. Lawyer and Director Jun Alonto Datu Ramos condemned the tweet as "inhumane and against all religions. There is no logic in this world that will justify such a statement. It is the same reasoning that Nazi supporters use when they say the Holocaust was justified because Jews were becoming a menace in Europe. . . you are the true terrorist for saying those things about innocent children." He advised the Ambassador to take down the post — which the latter promptly did.

Representatives Zia Alonto Adiong, Yasser Alonto Balindong, and Ron Salo of the Kabayan Party-list likewise condemned the Ambassador's post.

Muslim netizens, however, are still waiting for the reaction or a word from Muslim Senator Robinhood Padilla, noticing that his silence is deafening.

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