MANILA - The issue on Chinese nationals reportedly poaching in Philippine waters is not just about clams and corals, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said Saturday.
Part of Locsin's tweet last April 17 read: "ayaw ko gamitin ang clams; pangit ibasa sa hysteria na we went down fighting over clams."
A user replied to the tweet, saying: "Why not? Countries have gone to war for ages, maybe not for clams specifically, but for food! Remember the pig war? 2nd, for yoU to think it’s just about the clams, SAD!"
On Saturday, the country's top diplomat insisted that he did not think it was just about the clams as the netizen believed.
"No, you think it is just about clams (kasali coral by the way). It is I who do not think it is only about clams and coral. Criticize the idiot who got all wrought up over the clams. Gusto ko 'Remember the Alamo!' as battlecry; others 'Remember the Clams!'" he said in a tweet.
The song "Remember the Alamo" detailed the last days of 180 soldiers during the Battle of the Alamo, a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution against Mexico. Historians write that this battle symbolize for Texans their heroic resistance to oppression and their struggle for independence.
The Philippine government had been urged to take a tougher stance against China especially after reports of Chinese vessels mass harvesting giant clams in Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal surfaced.
Filipino fishermen told ABS-CBN News that the Chinese Coast Guard drives them away from the resource-rich area while wooden trawlers bearing China's flag extract giant clams there.
Locsin said the Philippines has filed a diplomatic note and "will be taking legal action" against China over this.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippines would have "to do something more aggressive, which may provoke armed hostilities" if China does not respond to the diplomatic note "affirmatively."