Locsin says US can weather 'civil disturbance' as chaos erupts at Capitol

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2021 04:54 PM

A protester is treated after getting pepper sprayed during clashes with Capitol police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. Shannon Stapleton, Reuters

MANILA – The United States "can cope with a civil disturbance," according to Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday, pertaining to violent protesters who stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the November presidential election results.

The chaos on Wednesday in the US unfolded after President Donald Trump spent weeks whipping up his supporters with false allegations of fraud in the Nov. 3 election, culminating in a call to march to the building that represents US democracy.

In a tweet reacting to the news, Locsin refuted claims that US "is done for" and said its democracy will "come out the winner."

"I hope the enemies of liberty among mock world powers don't believe and won't peddle the line that the US is done for; US democracy is strong to the bone and American power can cope with a civil disturbance and fight wars on 3 fronts if it wants to—and come out the winner," Locsin said.

"America is strong and this will show it," he added.

On a netizen's suggestion that the United Nations convene an "emergency meeting" to address the chaos, Locsin said the US "can handle this."

"Kidding? US can handle this & more—sad as it is to see—and still emerge world's leading power," he said.

"This is not a nightmare of democracy but a fever. It would be a nightmare of authoritarianism which is mortally wounded by such upheavals. Saw this before. Democracy is elastic steel."

Locsin said the riot was a "parody" of the 1986 Philippine people power revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship peacefully.

"A correct magnificent analogy is People Power taking the Palace by peaceful people power marches & assemblies culminating in the epic face off between tanks and unarmed protestors ending in their union which toppled a dying regime. Our Finest Hour. Yesterday parodied that," he said.

"The only way to pull off the same historic victory is without arms, without hate, above all without fear—made possible by being led by a woman in yellow who couldn't flinch in the face of danger and we all knew that of her. Democracy is a spirit stronger than force," he added.

Locsin lauded US Vice President Mike Pence’s rebuke of violence.

"This will be this man's and American democracy's finest hour. He stepped out of power to stand by American democracy, irreplaceable; with all its flaws the best form of government including the quavering silence of autocracies. Not fascism but misguided," Locsin said.

Four people died on the US Capitol grounds and 52 people have been arrested, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee said.

– With reports from Reuters

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