MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Friday reminded the country’s diplomats that cajoling Filipinos abroad to contribute money, even for a good cause, is improper.
Del Rosario was commenting on the case of the country’s consul general to Vancouver, Jose Ampeso, who was caught in a video posted on the Internet shouting at Filipinos in slurry speech as he asked them to give donations to the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC).
The DFA has ordered Ampeso to come home and explain his conduct, described on Filipino forums as “rude, drunk and arrogant.”
The consul general has already issued an apology for his behavior, saying he was tired and provoked when a Filipino only wanted to donate a dollar to the consulate’s fund drive for the PNRC Red Cross.
“On this point, the career diplomat has some explaining to do,” said Del Rosario. “For one, seeking donations even for a good cause is not within the bounds of propriety. I think it’s improper, inappropriate. He’ll have to answer to that, for me to appreciate why he was trying to cajole people to contribute,” said the mild-mannered Del Rosario.
Del Rosario said Philippine diplomats should always show the country’s best face but added that he would reserve judgment on the matter until it was properly investigated.
“The view of the DFA is that all of our people must project professional conduct at all times and nothing less is acceptable. We have viewed his behavior and we have asked him to come back to explain himself and a proper investigation will be conducted. He’s already on his way,” said Del Rosario in a press briefing yesterday.
Asked how he personally viewed Ampeso’s behavior, Del Rosario said: “If without any explanation I were to see that (video), I’d see that as errant behavior.”
He said that while Ampeso had already issued a statement clarifying his actions, “he still has to explain himself.”
In the same breath, Del Rosario said: “I think we should reserve judgment. It’s only fair to everyone that we do that.”