Trump Jr. ‘stupid’ tweets on Tubbataha rile Filipino netizens


03:57 AM February 1st, 2013


Donald Trump Jr.

The remarks of American businessman Donald Trump Jr. criticizing a US Navy plan to dismantle its minesweeper that is stuck at the Tubbataha Reefs in the Sulu Sea has sparked outrage among netizens and prompted a militant group to ask President Aquino to declare him persona non grata in the Philippines.

The militant group Anakbayan on Thursday said that Trump’s tweets, which indicated that he thought the USS Guardian was more important than the reef, were offensive and displayed a lack of regard for Philippine heritage.

Trump is the son of American real estate mogul Donald Trump, who is investing in a real estate project in Makati City.

“Trump Jr.’s attitude toward the Tubbataha Reefs reflects that of the US military and government’s general view [of] the Philippines: a [US] colony. Thus, their lack of respect for our sovereignty and national heritage,” Anakbayan chairman Vencer Crisostomo said in a statement.

Anakbayan also said all US military troops must be declared persona non grata in the Philippines.

‘Stupid’ plan

Trump tweeted a link from a news website that reported the $277-million Guardian, still stuck in Tubbataha two weeks after running aground there on Jan. 17, was going to be dismantled instead of being towed so as not to cause more damage to the reef.

In his remarks attached to the link, he said: “This is how stupid we are! $1/4 bil + ho hum.”

When Twitter user @adamq112 asked Trump if he was saying the boat was more important than the reef, Trump said he was not referring to the whole reef.

“But yes, a 277 million boat is more important than a 200 x 50 section of reef that has already been run over,” he said.

He also told @polablangkita that the whole reef was not destroyed, just a portion of it the size of the ship.

“That is not worth 277 million by any standard,” he said.

It is not yet clear how much damage the Guardian has caused in Tubbataha. The Philippine Coast Guard has estimated the damage at 1,000 square meters of coral reef.

President Aquino has said the US Navy is facing fines for entering the protected natural park and causing damage there.

Park superintendent Angelique Songco said the government imposes a fine of $300 for every square meter of damaged reef.

More damage

But former Sen. Jamby Madrigal said Thursday that the US Navy should pay the Philippines more than P700 million for the mess caused by the Guardian.

Madrigal, who is running again for the Senate in the May midterm elections, said the fine pegged by the Philippine government, equivalent to P38 million, was too little compared to the $15 million the US Navy paid to Hawaii for the damage to coral caused by the grounding of USS Port Royal there in February 2009.

“I hope the [Department of Environment and Natural Resources will] push for [a bigger fine],” Madrigal told reporters during a visit to the City of San Fernando in Pampanga province.

She said a big amount was needed for the rehabilitation of Tubbataha.

Responding to other Twitter users, Trump said it would be better if the ship was towed off the area instead of spending months tearing it apart, since the endeavor would entail the use of other ships that might cause more damage.

“Months of disassembly and other boats will do more damage than pulling it off,” he said.

Several netizens disagreed.

Twitter user @CaraManglapus told Trump: “You obviously don’t know what or where you’re talking about. It’s Asia’s most prized reef. Ratio insignificant.”

Another user, @elisrivac, asked Trump: “Do you really consider money your God? Come on. Please make us a natural coral reef out of your dollars.”

Scrap agreements

Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño also tweeted: “Your 277 million killing machine can never be more important than even a small section of reef that gives life to the oceans.”

Terry Ridon, Kabataan party-list president, said Trump’s statements ran counter to the claims of the US government and the US Navy that they respected the Philippines.

Ridon said the Philippines must scrap its military agreements with the United States. With a report from Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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  • Jojo

    if you have nothin good to say about the incident you have to shut up your mouth or else if you come here i will SAPOK you!!!@#$%$#

  • PHtaxpayer

    $277M for the USS Guardian is typical US Navy over-pricing.  No US Navy ship is worth destroying a national treasure.  Trumps attitude is typical of American arrogance and ignorance when it comes to other countries.  We should make the US pay for the damage plus ban them from going near the area.

  • lastduckstanding

    “She said a big amount was needed for the rehabilitation of Tubbataha.”

    You mean, a big amount is needed to line up the pockets of crooked politicians.

  • Moonlight Sparks

    Nais ko pa ring makarining ng statements of indignation from other politicos. Si Jamby Madrigal lang yata ang naglakas loob na magsalita tungkol dito.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    why declare him persona non grata?  what does he know about salvaging?  he’s only looking for attention.  

  • Vic

     We may not like what Trump, Jr said but let’s not forget that he loves his country as much as we love ours. Huwag na natin siyang patulan, hindi naman siya ang masusunod.

  • Jerry_SeinfeId

    Run over portion the reef that has been destroyed and donate $150M so Tubattaha Reef can florish again.

  • mabuhay_si_marKy

    di lang ta palabi ba.  sa totoo lang as much as we’re trying to go after the US Navy for this mishap, let’s also go after the politicians and the illegal loggers, poachers, ug uban pang criminal sa environment.  let’s support the effort to make philippines a green/forested nation!

  • Patas

    Anakbayan, anak ng tupa naman! puro kayo O.A.!

  • geminimind

    Damage is done on both the reefs and the vessel.It’s better to tow it and donate it to the AFP for future use against sea aggression.

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