Moros and migrants condemned Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St. James Teodoro Locsin Jr. for his post on X (formerly Twitter) saying Palestine children deserve to die.
Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) secretary general Amirah Lidasan said they condemn the ambassador and others who think like him that wish genocide on Muslims.
Migrante International (MI) said Locsin’s statement is “deplorable and unacceptable” given the fact that so many Palestinian children are dying and have died in the past due to the Israeli occupation of their homeland.
In a now deleted post, Locsin justified the killing of Palestinian children as they might grow up as their “gullible” elders who let the group Hamas launch rockets at Israel.
“They are Muslims. They could stage mass suicide attacks against Hamas until the latter ran out of bullets,” the ambassador added in a rambling post.
Locsin later said he immediately deleted his “sarcastic response to a tweet after realizing it could be misconstrued and retweeted to incite.”
“My apologies to those who did misconstrue my sentiments and did in fact get triggered,” Locsin, once the Philippines’ top diplomat as foreign affairs secretary under the Rodrigo Duterte government, said.
Locsin added he “obviously was not advocating for the literal death of anyone, but rather simply for the end of any ideology that condones terrorism in any way, share or form.”
A controversial Philippine figure for several decades, Locsin is also known for obscene gestures in public, using expletives in his tweets and social media posts, as well as contentious statements.
Worst form of discrimination’
But MCPA’s Lidasan said that Locsin displayed his ignorance and indifference to the decades-long Palestinian struggle by even thinking like he did.
Worse, Lidasan added, Locsin showed the worst form of discrimination against Muslims for wishing genocide against them.
“He perpetuates, incites violence and harm against Muslims with his position. He discriminates by generalizing Muslims as terrorists; he has no heart for the children and youth for wishing them dead,” Lidasan said.
MI said Locsin’s tweet contributes to the wholesale dehumanization and criminalization of the Palestinian people.
“If even children cannot be spared from violence, then the entire population must indeed be targeted,” MI in a statement Wednesday said.
The migrants group said Locsin should be barred from holding any more important government posts, a call supported by the MCPA.
A campaign has indeed been started on online petition platform change.org by a certain Rosette Marimon demanding Locsin’s removal as Philippine ambassador for “promoting hate and violence.”
“This individual continually broadcasts ideas of violence, racism, and Islamophobia – beliefs that are not only harmful but also divisive. His actions are in stark contrast to our shared values of peace, unity, and respect for all individuals regardless of their race or religion,” the petition reads.
The role he occupies should be one that promotes understanding among diverse groups rather than showing seeds of discord, it adds.
“We must demand his removal from office to ensure these harmful ideologies do not continue to spread unchecked. By doing so, we send a clear message that hate speech will not be tolerated from those in positions of power,” it adds further.
The petition is addressed to both the Office of the President and the Office of the Ombudsman, suggesting the filing of charges against Locsin.
In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it “completely disassociates itself” from the ambassador’s statement. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)