Germany summons Philippine envoy after Locsin defends Duterte's Hitler remarks â report
In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. represents President Rodrigo Duterte at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit and EU-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in Brussels, Belgium.
Presidential Photo, File
Germany summons Philippine envoy after Locsin defends Duterte's Hitler remarks — report
( - February 22, 2019 - 9:53am

MANILA, Philippines (Update 3, 9:02 p.m.) — Germany's Federal Foreign Office has summoned the Philippines' acting ambassador following the remarks of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. defending President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier statement comparing himself to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

German journalist Arnd Henze of Berlin-based ARD Capital Studio tweeted this latest development, noting that Locsin earlier "embraced" the remarks of Duterte about killing three million drug addicts.

"Philippine's acting Ambassador has been summoned by Germany's Foreign Ministry. It has been made very clear that the remarks by [Locsin] were totally unacceptable," Henze said on Twitter.

Lilibeth Pono is the ad interim Chargé D’ Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin.

Posting screenshots of Locsin's earlier tweets, Henze also noted that it was not the Philippine foreign secretary's first time to make "extremely offensive comments" in connection to the Holocaust.

But the Department of Foreign Affairs maintains that the top diplomat was not represented well in Henze's account. Spokesperson Elmer Cato argued that Locsin was provoked during his encounter with Henze on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the new building of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin.

"The video posted by Mr. Henze on his blog is incomplete and misleading. It failed to show Mr. Henze's deliberate attempts to provoke Secretary Locsin into giving controversial remarks," Cato said in a statement.

Duterte likens himself to Hitler

A clip of an interview with Locsin posted on the ARD Capital Studio website shows the secretary affirming Duterte's remarks in 2016.

"I tell you something — I said that myself before he said it," Locsin told German reporters.

Further justifying Duterte's previous remarks, Locsin said that's how the Philippine leader "expressed himself."

"His policy has created greater confidence in all surveys. Why should we give that up?" he added.

In October 2016, Duterte claimed he does not mind being likened to Hitler amid his administration's crackdown against illegal drugs, drawing shock and anger among Jewish groups.

"Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there are three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them," Duterte said.

Days after making this remark, Duterte apologized to the Jews, claiming that his statement had nothing to do with the Holocaust.

“I would like to make it [clear] here and now that there was never intention on my part to derogate the memory of the six million Jews murdered by the Germans,” the president said.

Diplomatic summons

German laws prohibit the denial of the Holocaust, as well as the promotion of Nazi ideology.

According to American publication Foreign Policy, a country's ambassador "get an earful" in a "kind of high-level, public show of disapproval" when a foreign ministry summons them.

A summons usually involves two to four diplomats from either side. 

"Ministries also carefully engineer the tone of the meeting, from the conciliatory to the very frosty," Foreign Policy said in an explainer.

During such meetings, the foreign ministry would air the country's grievances from a prepared statement. The ambassador would then respond explaining his government's position.

In August 2016, the US Department of State summoned the Philippine Philippine chargé d’affairés in Washington following the inappropriate remarks of then US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg. In May 2017, the European Union summoned charge d’affaires Alan Deniega to its Brussels headquarters after Duterte threatened to hang EU officials for opposing his proposal to reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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