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Philippines distances from Locsin's comment on 'killing' Palestinian children

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has disassociated itself from a remark made by one of its diplomats inciting violence upon Palestinian children who he said would grow up to tolerate the actions of militant group Hamas.

In a curt statement on Monday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that it “completely disassociates itself from the statement made on Twitter by Ambassador Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.”

“Such statement was made in his strictly personal capacity,” the DFA said.

In a now-deleted post on X (formerly Twitter), Locsin, the country’s special envoy to China, said that “Palestinian children should be killed” because “they might grow up to become as gullible as innocent Palestinians letting Hamas launch rockets at Israel.”

“Not that they could stop them but that’s no excuse. They are Muslims. They could stage mass suicide against Hamas until the latter ran out of bullets,” Locsin said.

Locsin’s post on X was shared as a "quote" or a reaction to the post of another user describing the hardships of Palestinians who are "led astray by Hamas leaders."

After deleting the post, Locsin apologized for his remarks and said that his comment — which was shared with his more than 662,000 followers — was a “sarcastic response” to another user on the platform. 

READ: 'My apologies': Diplomat Teodoro Locsin responds to backlash after post on Palestinian children 

Locsin said: “I immediately deleted my sarcastic response to a tweet as I realized it could be misconstrued and retweeted to incite. My apologies to those who did misconstrue my sentiments and did in fact get triggered.” 

“I obviously was not advocating for the literal death of anyone, but rather simply for the end of any ideology that condones terrorism in any way, shape or form,” the diplomat added.

The DFA last week said that it is backing Israel in its war against Hamas militants but took exception with the killing of civilians, including Palestinians caught in the crossfire. 

Even before the militant group Hamas launched its attack on Israel early October, human rights group Human Rights Watch sounded the alarm over the rising number of Palestinian children killed by airstrikes of the Israeli