MANILA, Philippines — Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. congratulated journalist Maria Ressa after receiving the country’s first Nobel Peace Prize but insisted that the late former President Corazon Aquino could have gotten her own if it weren’t for “self-conceited” and “self-centered” allies.

“Congratulations, Maria. A win is a win. Even Cory Aquino couldn’t get it for restoring democracy through the first ever peaceful people power revolution that inspired the same throughout the Soviet Bloc and the Asian dictatorships. Amazing,” said Locsin through Twitter on Saturday.

This statement came after Ressa, who is also the chief executive officer of the online news site Rappler, shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

Locsin, in a series of tweets, said Ressa was lucky because she had “better supporters than Cory Aquino ever did.”

“She (Cory Aquino) had a Cabinet and a closed clique of advisers of breathtaking self-conceit, self-exaggerated talent, me-me-me *ssholes. In her we had gold but couldn’t or couldn’t be bothered to turn it into a Nobel laureate,” he added.

In another tweet, the official further stressed the difference between the pair’s allies.

“It is as it was about her people—so full of themselves they never even tried to clinch it for her and it was suggested by US media we make the effort. She had a Cabinet of conceited self-centered assholes. Maria is lucky; she has real allies and supporters,” Locsin said.

Locsin once served as legal counsel and speech writer to Aquino during her time as the president.

He is also the son of the late journalist Teodoro Locsin Sr, who was detained in the 1970s for criticizing the regime of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“It was a fight and she won. No other way to look at it. Cory did not get the Nobel Peace Prize for the first & most successful peaceful people power democratic restoration in the history of humanity,” lamented Locsin in another tweet.

“We failed Cory. We had gold in our hands and we couldn’t get the Prize for her,” he added.

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