Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. had called Vice President Leni Robredo "boba" or stupid over her remarks on the decision of the DFA to cancel all courtesy diplomatic passports issued to former officials and diplomats.
Palace justifies Locsin's 'colorful' language
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - June 25, 2019 - 3:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang defended Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. following his remarks against Vice President Leni Robredo.

The Philippines' top diplomat called Robredo "boba" or stupid after the latter slammed the Department of Foreign Affairs for revoking all courtesy diplomatic passports issued to former officials and diplomats.

Locsin, however, had immediately apologized to the vice president.

Asked if Locsin's behavior has been unbecoming as the country's top diplomat, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it has not affected the secretary's work.

"He (Locsin) is known for his colorful language just like the late Sen. Miriam (Defensor-Santiago) was in the same way that the president is also known for that but it doesn't diminish his competence to act as secretary of foreign affairs," Panelo said in a press briefing.

Panelo also pointed out that Locsin already apologized to Robredo, which means that he admitted committing a mistake in throwing slurs at the vice president.

The Malacañang mouthpiece added that the DFA chief might just have been exasperated by Robredo's remarks on the issue of diplomatic passports.

Panelo added that Duterte himself uses "colorful" language in his speeches.

"Ang presidente naman natin 'di ba ganoon din ang style pero kita mo naman ang epekto," Panelo said, citing Duterte's previous remarks against former US President Barack Obama.

READ: Resuming rebuke of Obama, Duterte calls him 'black, arrogant' | Duterte apologizes to, 'forgives' Obama

Meanwhile, opposition Sen. Francis Pangilinan condemned Locsin for insulting the vice president.

According to Pangilinan, Locsin violated Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

"This kind of mockery and disrespect has no space in a civilized society, especially coming from the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, the office that leads national diplomacy," Pangilinan said in Filipino.

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