Chip Tsao personally says sorry

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 02 2009 11:12 AM | Updated as of Apr 02 2009 11:42 PM

HK Magazine columnist Chip Tsao personally apologized to Filipino officials in Hong Kong after causing a stir with his article where he called the Philippines a “nation of servants.”

According to Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Eduardo Malaya, Tsao conveyed his “most sincere apologies for the offense he had caused” to Philippine consulate officials and Filipino community leaders Wednesday night at the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong.

The controversial columnist also made a public apology on television in China’s Special Administrative Region.

The DFA confirmed to abs-cbnNEWS.com in a text message that it received information about Tsao’s apology from a report by the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong.

“The following is excerpt of Mr. Chip Tsao's interview aired 7 p.m. last night at ATV, a major local TV channel: ‘I realized that I had crossed the line...I now offer my public apology,’” the DFA stated in the text message.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Monday that Tsao allegedly never meant to insult Filipino domestic workers.

"The article was never intended to be insulting to the Filipino domestic workers," Tsao told AFP.

He added in the report that "English, being a global language, is open to different interpretations by those who come from various cultural backgrounds”.

"Has anyone been deeply upset, it was never my intention and I feel sorry," Tsao was quoted in the report.

Malacañang, however, is still unsure if it would accept Tsao’s apology.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita also said Wednesday that he is not certain if the Bureau of Immigration (BI) would remove Tsao from its blacklist after his apology.

In his March 27 article entitled “The War at Home,” Tsao called the Philippines a “nation of servants” not worthy of claiming the Spratly Islands from China, as the country employs hundreds of thousands of Filipino domestic helpers on very low wages.

Such comment caused a backlash among Filipinos, which prompted BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan to place Tsao in the immigration blacklist for being an undesirable alien.

“This is our manifestation of disgust against the racial slur and insult committed by Mr. Tsao against us as a people,” Libanan said after announcing the issuance of the blacklist order.

On Monday, HK Magazine’s publisher Asia City Publishing Group issued an apology “for any offense that may have been caused by Chip Tsao's column date March 27.”