Drilon: Duterte admin speaking with different voices on WPS issue ‘quite unfortunate’
MANILA, Philippines — It is “quite unfortunate” that the Duterte administration is speaking with different voices on the issue of China’s recent incursions in the West Philippine Sea, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said Wednesday.
Drilon made the remark after the Palace said President Rodrigo Duterte does not want his alter egos using curse words, particularly when it comes to the sensitive field of diplomacy.
The Palace said this in response to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s expletive-laced tweet asking China to leave Philippine waters.
“Quite unfortunate, quite unfortunate. Because you have two principal members of the Cabinet—Secretary Locsin and [Defense Secretary Delfin] Lorenzana—taking a strong position on this issue,” Drilon said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
And on the other end of the scale is President Duterte who asserts that we must continue our cordial relations with China so it’s quite unfortunate that that we are talking with different voices,” he added.
Drilon, nonetheless, said Locsin and Lorenzana—who have both slammed China’s incursions in the Philippine waters—“reflect the sentiment of the majority of our people.”
“I know Teddyboy Locsin very well. He is very patriotic. Maybe it was his emotional outburst because of the frustration that he could not do much except to file diplomatic protests in these incursions by China,” Drilon said.
Locsin has apologized to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for issuing an expletive-laden demand for Chinese vessels to leave Philippine waters.
“I won’t plead the last provocation as an excuse for losing it; but if Wang Yi is following Twitter then I’m sorry for hurting his feelings but his alone,” Locsin said in a tweet.
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