Locsin tells Roque to lay off foreign affairs

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin, Jr. on February 1 told Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque to lay off from the field of foreign affairs.

“I am not listening to Harry Roque. Love the guy but he’s not competent in this field. We do not go back to The Hague. We might lose what we won. Harry, lay off,” Locsin said in a Twitter post.

“Harry, just lay off foreign affairs,” he added.

Secretary Locsin made the statement after Secretary Roque said during his February 1 press briefing that China’s new Coast Guard Law can be brought to International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

However, Roque added that it “will be the decision of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the different Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ASEAN.”

“Number two, limitado po ang mga lugar na pupuwede nating pagdalhan ng ganiyang kontrobersiya ano. Ang China po hindi pupuwedeng dalhin sa International Court of Justice dahil wala po siyang consent na mag-litigate doon sa ICJ. Ang pupuwedeng gawin po ay diyan nga po sa International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea gaya ng ginawa natin, dahil by being a party to UNCLOS, she also become a party to the compulsory dispute settlement mechanism,” Roque said.

In another Twitter post, posted February 2, Locsin said “Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque does not express foreign policy. That was his personal opinion. And the last thing we will do is assemble our armed forces to evacuate our nationals.”

Locsin made the statement after Roque said the Armed Forces of the Philippines is on stand-by whenever need to transport Filipinos from Myanmar arises.

“Ang ating pangunahing concern sa Myanmar ay iyong kaligtasan ng ating mga mamamayan.  Inaasahan po natin na gumagawa ng mga hakbang ang ating embahada roon, para bigyan ng proteksiyon ang lahat ng ating mga mamamayan at naka-standby naman po ang ating Hukbong Sandatahan kung kinakailangan na ma-airlift o kaya ang mga bapor ng ating Philippine Navy kung kinakailangan na pauwiin iyong mga Pilipinong nandiyan sa Myanmar. Pagdating po doon sa pangyayari sa Myanmar eh hindi na po muna tayo magkukomento dahil sa ngayon po ang pangunahing interest natin ay iyong kaligtasan po ng mga Pilipino sa Myanmar,” Roque said.