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Senators: Envoys shouldn’t be too open online

By Vanne Elaine P. Terrezola

Senate President Koko Pimentel yesterday appealed to Filipino diplomats to avoid posting or releasing information or operations online especially those that could affect the Philippines’ diplomatic relations with foreign countries.

Pimentel and Sen. Nancy Binay have agreed that the uploading in social media of the Philippine Embassy’s rescue of distressed overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait has affected the already tense relationship between the two countries.

The two senators said Filipino diplomats and foreign affairs officials should realize that not everything should be publicized and posted on social media.

“Bakit kasi masyado tayong mahilig sa Internet, na parang gustung-gusto natin ipabasa, ipakita sa buong mundo anong ginagawa natin? ‘Yan ang magandang lesson dito na hindi lahat ng kilos – lalo na involving other countries at international relations – kailangang ibalandra mo, i post mo, publicly announce mo. Kaya nga sometimes may mga State secret,” Pimentel said.

The Senate chief said the rescue operation should not have been posted since the country has yet to settle the problem of abused OFWs and the impending signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to protect their welfare in the Gulf state.

Pimentel said it was “unfortunate” that the MoU was affected by the conflict between the two countries.

Binay said someone should be accountable for the blunder caused by the viral rescue video and urged the Department of Foreign Affairs to look into the matter.