The U.S. government has already vowed to dismantle a warship stuck in the Philippines' Tubbataha reef, but at least one of its high-profile citizens finds the idea absurd.
The namesake son of real estate magnate Donald Trump thinks saving the $277-million USS Guardian should be prioritized over saving the protected Philippine reef.
"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'," Donald Trump, Jr. posted on his Twitter account Thursday.
He was reacting to a story published on the Washington Free Beacon about the U.S. Navy's decision to cut up the minesweeper to prevent it from further damaging the Tubbataha Reef.
Related story: Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces
Trump's statements almost immediately drew reproach from his followers, Filipinos and other netizens alike.
Most of the reactions noted that the reef is an environmental treasure and is worth more than the U.S. ship which ran aground earlier this month while on its way to Palawan.
The Tubbataha Reef was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and included in a global list of Wetlands of International Importance in 1999.
"@DonaldJTrumpJr A boat is more important than a coral reef?" a user called Adam Quirk challenged.
Also read: US Navy fined for 'illegal entry' at Philippine reef
Trump was quick to respond: "@adamq112 not the whole reef but yes a 277mil boat is more important than a 200x50 section of reef that has already been run over."
"[T]he whole reef was not destroyed just a chunk the size of a boat. That is not worth 277 million by any standard," he added.
He also slammed the U.S. government's move to shoulder the cleanup cost.
"[P]lease 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," Trump tweeted.
Related story: US not exempt from laws: Philippines' Aquino
Filipinos took out on Trump more aggresively.
Controversial cultural activist Carlos Celdran said: "@DonaldJTrumpJr @DRUDGE_REPORT This is our natural resources. US should spend more than 277 million to repair damage. Jeez. Asshole much?"
"Hijo @DonaldJTrumpJr, before you criticize, you ought to ask yourself how in the world did they even get there?" Twitter user @dudeinterrupted said.
Krizette Chu said: "@DonaldJTrumpJr YOU ARE UR FATHER'S SON, DUMB ASS. The reef is worth MORE THAN 200M. It Takes thousands of years to regenerate!"
"And for your information, the TUBBATAHA is home to HALF OF THE WORLD's marine species. Is it still expensive?" she added.
Youth group Anakbayan, meanwhile, urged President Benigno Aquino III to declare Trump Jr., as well as all American military forces, "persona non grata."
"Trump Jr.'s attitude towards the Tubbataha Reef reflects that of the U.S military and government's general view towards the Philippines: as a colony. Thus their lack of respect for our sovereignty and national heritage," Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo said.
“In the entire duration of Philippine-American relations, we have been treated as a dumping ground of toxic wastes, a stockpile of nuclear weapons, a testing ground of torture methods, and a source of women for U.S soldiers to violate," he added.
"We thus reiterate our call for a proactive approach to the issue of protecting our national sovereignty. An apology is not enough," Kabataan Party-list national president Terry Ridon said.
"To prevent similar incidents from happening again, we must scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement, the Mutual Defense Treaty, and expel the U.S military from our territory," he said further.
Related slideshow: Tubbataha Reef damage
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