Teodoro Loscin, the Philippine foreign minister who took to Twitter to tell China to ‘GET THE F--- OUT’ amid tension over the South China Sea, apologized on Tuesday to his Chinese counterpart after appearing to irk his own president.
"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."
Loscin was referring to Beijing's alleged actions within the Philippines' 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. His Department of Foreign Affairs announced it had protested the Chinese coast guard’s "shadowing, blocking, dangerous maneuver and radio challenges" of Philippine coast guard ships patrolling and carrying out exercises from April 24 to 25 at disputed Scarborough Shoal.
"China, my friend, how politely can I put it? Let me see…O…GET THE F--- OUT," he posted on his personal account without the censor. His tweet continued, "What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province."
NPR reported in March that China also had about 220 vessels at the Whitsun Reef, which is claimed by the Philippines, China and Vietnam. Delfin Lorenzana, the Philippine defense minister, told the news outlet that the territory is within Manila’s exclusive zone under established international law.
President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his irritation in televised remarks Monday night.
"Just because we have a conflict with China does not mean to say that we have to be rude and disrespectful," Duterte said. "We have many things to thank China for the help in the past and its assistance now."
The Associated Press contributed to this report