MANILA—Musician Regine Velasquez criticized Foreign Affairs Chief Teodoro Locsin Jr. Thursday over the latter's remark on clams amid reports of mass harvesting by Chinese vessels near Scarborough Shoal.
The country's top diplomat in a tweet said the Department of Foreign Affairs is looking into the report, but noted that he would not be known as a "clam defender," since these are "just f**kng food."
"I am not going down in history as a clam defender, okay? It's a complaint; we're looking into it; but these are just fucking food; no one goes to war for clams (maybe Oysters of Locquemariaquer) but they just happen to be OUR food. They should pay for them like in fish market," Locsin said in a tweet.
Filipino fishermen have told ABS-CBN News that the Chinese Coast Guard drives them away from the resource-rich shoal while wooden trawlers bearing the Chinese flag extract giant clams there.
Velasquez replied to Locsin, saying the issue is not just about food but about the Philippine territory.
"Ang akala ko pa naman matalino ka. Ako ay simpling tao lamang na may simpleng pagiisip. These people are invading our territory they are not just taking food sinistral nila ang ating karagatan!!!!" she said.
(I thought you were smart. I am just a simple person with a simple mind. These people are invading our territory, they are not just taking food, they are destroying our ocean.)
Locsin told Velasquez that the shoal is not part of Philippine territory but only of its exclusive economic zone.
Under Republic Act 9522 or the Philippine Baselines Law, Scarborough Shoal is part of the Philippines.
Locsin earlier said Manila will take legal action against Beijing over its alleged mass harvesting of giant clams in the shoal.