MANILA, Philippines — A legislator on Thursday slammed Donald Trump Jr.’s posts about the US Navy’s plan to dismantle its ship which ran aground the Tubbataha Reef as “stupid.”
Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño hit at Trump, son and namesake of a US tycoon who posted the message, “This is how stupid we are! $1/4 bil+ho hum” referring to a report on the US Navy dismantling its $277 million ship to prevent further damage to the Tubbataha Reef.
He said Trump’s posts reflected the US sentiment over the incident–that the Navy vessel was of greater importance than the coral reef.
Trump’s posts have caused an uproar over Filipino Twitter users.
Some decried the American businessman’s statements which they felt belittled the damage caused by the US Navy ship to the coral reef which was considered a national treasure.
@polablangkita said “Good morning from the Philippines Mr. @DonaldTrumpJr! The REEF is not just a part of our country..it is a NATIONAL TREASURE.
Trump replied “perhaps but the whole reef was not destroyed just a chunk the size of a boat. That is not worth [$]277 million by any standard.”
“Not the whole reef but yes, a [$]277mil boat is more important than a 200×50 section of reef that has already been run over,” Trump also said in reply to @adamq112 who asked “a boat is more important than a coral reef?”
But Casiño said that the damage caused to the Tubbataha Reef which was worth $342 million according to previous studies, should be more important than the fate of the USS Guardian.
In a reply to Trump over Twitter, the lawmaker said “your 277mil killing machine can never be more important than even a small section of a reef that gives life to the oceans.”
He said that it was important to note the “domino effect” that the damage to the coral reef would have on the marine ecosystem.
“Best option: gawin na lang patubuan ng talaba ang USS Guardian (turn the USS Guardian into an oyster farm),” he said.
Casiño, along with Kabataan Representative Raymond Palatino, on Monday filed House Resolution 3012 which condemned the refusal of the USS Guardian to recognize Philippine authority and calling for the cessation of all port calls, warship docking and other military exercises by US Forces in the Philippines.