MANILA, Philippines - The Palace dismissed an alleged tweet of the son of real estate tycoon Donald Trump reportedly belittling the importance of Tubbataha Reef.
Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the tweet of businessman Donald Trump Jr. did not come from a policymaker and that the Palace does not need to respond to each and every statement.
“That kid is not a policymaker. We don’t have to respond to each and every comment from somebody who just decides to say something… We know what should be done. Certainly, the US government, the Philippine government totally disagree with the position taken by that… I don’t know how old is that guy—the son of Mr. Trump. We don’t wanna comment on that,” Lacierda said.
Trump Jr. earlier said he is incensed with the decision to scrap the $277 million USS Guardian after it crashed into the Tubbataha Reef in Palawan.
In his Twitter account, Trump Jr. posted a link to a Washington Free Beacon article that said the US minesweeper will have to be cut up into small pieces in order to prevent the harming of the ocean’s ecosystem.
"This is how stupid we are! $1/4 bil+ ho hum “@DRUDGE_REPORT: Navy to scrap $277 million ship to avoid scraping reef... http://drudge.tw/XSG79T "
Several of his followers, however, chastised Trump, saying that Tubbataha Reef is a World Heritage site.
One user, Adam Quirrk (@adamq11), even asked Trump: "A boat is more important than a coral reef?"
Trump replied: "Not the whole reef but yes a 277mil boat is more important than a 200x50 section of reef that has already been run over."
He added: "yes because very the small section of reef that has Already been run over is is worth 1/4bil Obamanomics much?"
Trump said the ship only damaged a small portion of the reef. He also blasted the decision of the US government to pay clean-up costs.
"@BrianRad5 please cleanup costs? The ship is 200 by 50 at most on the edge of a reef. it hit and stopped give me a break 277 million," he tweeted.
He said the USS Guardian did not destroy the entire reef but "a chunk the size of a boat."
"That is not worth 277 million by any standard," he said.