In this June 12, 2019 photo, Vice President Leni Robredo attends the celebration of the 121st Independence Day at Luneta Park in Manila.
OVP/Released
'It's nothing': Robredo shrugs off Locsin's 'boba' retort
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - June 25, 2019 - 5:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — Saying has always been at the end of unfair accusations and insults, Vice President Leni Robredo dismissed the remarks of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

The Philippines' top diplomat called the vice president "boba", or stupid, for criticizing the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs to revoke all courtesy diplomatic passports issued to former officials and diplomats.

Locsin, however, immediately apologized to the vice president in a follow-up tweet.

"Sa akin naman, ever since hindi ako pumatol kapag usapang bastusan. Sa akin, hindi naman ako nababawasan doon. Alam ng tao kung ano ang tama at ano iyong mali, kaya hindi ko na iyon papatulan," Robredo told reporters in Naga City.

(To me, I have always refused to engage in rude exchanges. To me, that does not make me any less of a person. The people know what is right from what is wrong and I will not pay attention to that.)

Asked if she accepts Locsin's apology, Robredo said there are other more important matters to discuss such as Republic Act 8329, or the Philippine Passport Act, and the case of the 22 fishermen whose boat was hit by a Chinese vessel in the West Philippine Sea.

Locsin, in another follow-up tweet on Tuesday, said: "I don't deserve it, Ma'am. I thought I was doing a good deed to spare a good man from being singled out for reprisal by abolishing courtesy diplomatic passports across the board; which is rampantly abused. It's kind of you."

Robredo earlier slammed the government for blaming former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario for the DFA's decision to cancel courtesy diplomatic passports after the incident in Hong Kong.

Del Rosario, who filed a communication against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court, was denied entry to Hong Kong and was detained at the airport for six hours last week.

'Hey, boba'

Locsin replied to Robredo's statement on the cancelation of diplomatic passports on Twitter.

"Hey, boba, that is precisely why I have ordered the cancellation of all courtesy diplomatic passports because I refuse to single out Del Rosario," Locsin tweeted Monday.

The vice president stressed that she will not answer any questions on the comment.

"Iyong pinaka-issue dito, iyong mga mangingisda, na na-violate iyong kanilang mga karapatan," Robredo said.

(The main issue here are the fishermen, [and] that their rights were violated.)

Robredo had suggested that a third party should counduct an investigation into the sinking of a Filipino fishing boat near Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea.

The Filipino crewmen claimed that a Chinese vessel rammed their boat and immediately left the scene while the captain of the Chinese trawler insisted that they tried to help but they were besieged by seven to eight Filipino boats.

"A joint investigation is difficult, because we’re unsure if the truth will really come out," Robredo earlier said.

LENI ROBREDO TEODORO LOCSIN JR.
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