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PEACETALK: Diplomats bear the responsibility of fostering peace and understanding

column title peacetalk mindaviews

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews / 22 October) — In response to Ambassador Teddy Locsin Jr.’s recent tweet about Palestinian children, it is deeply concerning to witness a diplomat expressing such violent sentiments. The tweet not only violates international laws protecting children but also perpetuates Islamophobia, causing immense pain to Muslims globally, including those in the Philippines.

Diplomats bear the responsibility of fostering peace and understanding. Ambassador Locsin’s words, however, promote hatred and violence against innocent children and Muslims. This rhetoric has no place in diplomacy, contradicting the principles of compassion and humanity.

This incident is not isolated; Ambassador Locsin’s past statements, such as the one during former President Duterte’s administration and his stance at the United Nations in 2017 on Rohingyas, reveal a troubling pattern. Such behavior undermines the essence of diplomacy, which is to build bridges, not burn them.

In the interest of upholding the values of peace, respect, and understanding, it is crucial that Ambassador Locsin is held accountable for his words. Such divisive rhetoric erodes trust in the nation’s diplomatic relations and tarnishes its international image.

We urge the relevant authorities to seriously consider the impact of Ambassador Locsin’s words on the nation’s reputation and the safety of children, both at home and abroad. What we need are diplomats who champion peace, understanding, and cooperation, not individuals who incite violence and prejudice.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Tirmizy Abdullah is a professor of History at the Mindanao State University in Marawi City). 

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