Chip Tsao apologizes for ‘maid-country’ remark

Chip Tsao apologizes for ‘maid-country’ remark
04/01/2009 | 09:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines – I crossed the line.

This was the admission of the HK Magazine columnist who branded the Philippines as a “nation of servants,” a report over dzBB radio said Wednesday morning.

DzBB’s Hong Kong correspondent Corazon Cañete said that Chip Tsao issued a public apology Tuesday night, which was aired over ATV’s 7:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. ATV is a private television network.

“The ’servant’ is a sacred term. A Hong Kong government official is a civil servant. We are all servants to God, right? I’m now aware that I’ve crossed the line and I offer my public apology,” Tsao was quoted as saying.

Cañete reported that only Tsao’s voice was heard while a file photo and a file video of him were shown.

In “The War at Home” piece published in HK Magazine last March 27, Tsao wrote that the Philippines was unworthy of claiming the Spratly Islands from China because the former is a “nation of servants.”

The article said that there are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as HK$3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. “(And) as a nation of servants, you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.”

On Monday, Asia City Publishing House issued an apology for “any offense” caused by Chip Tsao’s article but defended the column as satirical, saying it could be read “in different ways.”

Tsao’s column sparked outrage among non-government organizations and lawmakers in the Philippines, with Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez even calling for a boycott of Hong Kong and Hong Kong products over the incident for a period between six months to one year.

The Bureau of Immigration also blacklisted Tsao over the incident.

Despite Tsao’s apology, the Filipino community in Hong Kong might still push through with their planned protest on Sunday against his supposed derogatory column, according to Romulo Salud, labor attache of the Philippine consulate general in Hong Kong.

“Palagay ko matutuloy ang malawakang rally diyan. Ihahanda nila sa Linggo [I think they will still proceed with the rally, which they are readying for this Sunday],” Salud said in a separate interview on dzBB radio.

But Salud said he has yet to meet with Philippine consulate officials to discuss their next action following Tsao’s apology. Salud said they will issue a statement later in the day. – GMANews.TV