Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. later said had he known Jhesset Enano "was a lady, I'd have let it pass."
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Locsin slammed for cursing at reporter on Twitter
(Philstar.com) - November 6, 2019 - 4:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — (Updated 8:48 p.m.) Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.'s "profane and insulting" tweet at a reporter covering President Rodrigo Duterte at the Asean summit in Bangkok was uncacceptable, uncalled for and undeserved, journalists said on Wednesday.

Locsin had tweeted "Uh, did you get the putangina I sent you? That's the last event, purely ceremonial and short. Jokowi had left, Mahathir too" at Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Jhesset Enano on Tuesday.

The tweet was in response to, and quoted, Enano's tweet from the Asean summit saying Locsin represented President Rodrigo Duterte "appears to have skipped this event, too."

He had earlier quoted the same tweet and referred to Enano as "you shet."

"This is unacceptable behavior from the country's top diplomat, the person expected to project the best of the Philippines," the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said in a statement, adding Locsin demonstrated "execrable arrogance and boorishness."

"Enano was clearly doing her job and simply reporting the fact that Duterte was not there. How anyone can see malice in that is incomprehensible," NUJP also said.

"It’s ironic that it comes from the country’s top diplomat and a former journalist," the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines said in on its Twitter account.

It said it is alarmed by "the abusive and harassing profanity" that Locsin used in his tweet.

"Secretary Locsin can take up any issue with the media or any sector firmly. But needless to say, he has to speak with civility and within the bounds of basic human decency," FOCAP also said, adding that "anything beyond that is an unacceptable display of arrogance and coercion."

It said that journalists "and Filipinos from all walks of life for that matter, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."

'Unbecoming of a diplomat and public official' 

In a separate statement, the Philippine Daily Inquirer said it "takes umbrage at the profane and insulting tweet addressed by Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. to PDI reporter Jhesset Enano on Nov. 5."

"It was unbecoming of a diplomat and public official, and totally undeserved by Enano, who was doing her job reporting on President Duterte at the Asean summit with the professionalism, focus and comprehensiveness that our readers deserve."

Locsin later said had he known Enano "was a lady, I'd have let it pass."

He also explained that Duterte had already "[stuck] it out start to finish but for one photo op, enduring statements far longer than his own because he has the breeding to listen to those who heard him." 

Prolific tweeter

Locsin, who prefers to issue policy statements and share his thoughts on the micro-blogging site, has been in hot water over his tweets in the past.

In October, he tweeted his "profound apologies to the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party responsible for its unprecedented achievements and Amb. Zhao (Jianhua), for using the Great Helmsman’s name in vain." 

The Foreign Affairs chief had previously been firing off tweets critical of Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong.

"[S]omeone please do her the kindness to give her a brain," Locsin tweeted of Vice President Leni Robredo in June.

He apologized, saying "[t]hat’s no way for a gentleman to speak to a lady."

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TEODORO LOCSIN
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