Tone it down, netizens tell new ambassador to UN
THE DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday distanced itself from the online firestorm spawned by newly appointed Ambassador to the United Nations Teddyboy Locsin Jr. that made netizens question his appointment and raised calls for his resignation.
The Commission on Appointments (CA) has the last say on Locsin’s qualification to head the Philippines’ mission to the United Nations, considered a plum diplomatic post, DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said.
“The CA is the appropriate body to evaluate the qualification and fitness of the presidential appointees that require confirmation under existing laws,” Jose said when asked whether Locsin’s online decorum was appropriate for a diplomat.
Locsin has been taking netizens in a word war, often laced with profanities on his Twitter account, following his Nazi-themed tweets on the social media platform in August.
Some netizens appealed to him to “tone it down” and act more like an ambassador.
The rights body In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDefend) called Locsin’s appointment a disgrace, saying it “grossly misrepresented” the country in the international community.
It also called for Locsin, a former journalist, to be barred from appointment to any government post in the future.
“Locsin’s actions are contemptuous to the Filipino people and its solidarity with the Jewish people against tyranny and any form of targeted extermination,” iDefend said.
On Monday, Locsin tweeted: “Now that Duterte has done the impossible—apologize in the clearest terms to the people affected, the Jews—well, now that he has, what?”
He was referring to President Duterte’s apology to the Jewish people for his remarks that drew parallels between his brutal war on drugs and Hitler’s genocide in which six million Jews were killed during World War II.
Twitter user @josepanganib replied: “Go and be a diplomat.” Locsin fired back: “Not yet please, withdrawal symptoms from vivacity to diplomacy.”
In tweets in August, he posted on his account @teddyboylocsin: “I believe that the drug menace is so big it needs a Final Solution like the Nazis adopted. That I believe. No rehab.”
Three days later, he tweeted: “You may find this hard to believe but the Nazis were not all wrong, give or take killing millions of the wrong people. Keep an open mind.”
“Locsin publicly endorsed an idea which has not, is not, and never will be part of the Filipino’s beliefs, therefore he has grossly misrepresented the country in the global community,” iDefend said.
“Under any other administration, past and future, he would be immediately sacked,” said the group composed of about 30 nongovernment organizations advocating for human rights and the rule of law.
During the war, the Philippines was one of the few countries that opened its doors to some 1,300 Jews who sought refuge from persecution.
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