MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The son of real estate mogul Donald Trump is incensed with the decision to scrap the $277 million USS Guardian after it crashed into the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan.
In his Twitter account, businessman Donald Trump Jr. posted a link to a Washington Free Beacon article that said the US minesweeper will have to be cut up into small pieces in order to prevent the harming of the ocean’s ecosystem.
"This is how stupid we are! $1/4 bil+ ho hum “@DRUDGE_REPORT: Navy to scrap $277 million ship to avoid scraping reef... http://drudge.tw/XSG79T "
Several of his followers, however, chastised Trump, saying that Tubbataha Reef is a World Heritage site.
One user, Adam Quirrk (@adamq11), even asked Trump: "A boat is more important than a coral reef?"
Trump replied: "Not the whole reef but yes a 277mil boat is more important than a 200x50 section of reef that has already been run over."
He added: "yes because very the small section of reef that has Already been run over is is worth 1/4bil Obamanomics much?"
Trump said the ship only damaged a small portion of the reef. He also blasted the decision of the US government to pay cleanup costs.
"@BrianRad5 please cleanup costs? The ship is 200 by 50 at most on the edge of a reef. it hit and stopped give me a break 277 million," he tweeted.
He said the USS Guardian did not destroy the entire reef but "a chunk the size of a boat."
"That is not worth 277 million by any standard," he said.
Several Filipinos, meanwhile, hit Trump Jr. for his remarks.
Former Pangasinan congressman Mark Cojuangco tweeted: "@Anthony_Andres @donaldjtrumpjr Kapag isang barko ba natin ang naaksidente ng ganoon, ganoon din ang singil?"
Celebrity tourist guide Carlos Celdran added: "@DonaldJTrumpJr @DRUDGE_REPORT This is our natural resources. US should spend more than 277 million to repair damage. Jeez. A**hole much?"
The youth group Anakbayan also called on President Aquino to declare Trump Jr., as well as all American military forces, as "persona non grata."
"Trump Jr.’s attitude towards the Tubbataha Reef reflects that of the U.S military and government’s general view towards the Philippines: as a colony. Thus, their lack of respect for our sovereignty and national heritage," said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.