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Pacquiao finds Duterte's statements on Chinese incursions at WPS lacking


Senator Manny Pacquiao said Monday he finds the recent statements of President Rodrigo Duterte on the issue of West Philippine Sea lacking compared to his remarks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Sa akin nakukulangan ako doon sa kumpara doon sa bago pa siya tumakbo, mage-eleksyon pa lang. Dapat ipagpatuloy n’ya ‘yun para magkaroon din ng respeto sa atin ang China,” Pacquiao said in an online interview with reporters.

He was referring to the 2016 statement of then Davao City mayor Duterte that if the tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines and China refused to honor the decision, he would personally go to the disputed territory to jetski and plant the Philippine flag.

“Kapag sinabi [ng UN arbitral tribunal] na panalo tayo at ayaw ng China, I will not go to war. Pupunta ako sa China. Ngayon 'pag ayaw nila, I will ask the Navy to bring me to the nearest boundary, diyan sa Spratly, sa Scarborough,” Duterte said.

“Bababa ako at sasakay ako ng jetski, dala dala ko ang flag ng Filipino at pupunta ako dun sa airport [ng China] tapos itanim ko. I will say, 'This is ours and do what you want with me'," he added.

Years later, Duterte said it was just a hyperbole.

Pacquiao said Duterte’s earlier statements boosted the confidence of the Filipinos and encouraged them to fight what is ours.

“Sa akin lang ‘yung una niyang statement bago siya tumakbo magjetski siya, ipaglaban ang West Philippine Sea, magdadala ng bandila, nagbigay ng encouragement sa ating mga kababayan, lumakas ang loob natin. Ito ‘yung gusto ko tapos pagdating ng panahon dapat manindigan tayo kung ano ang sa atin,” he said.

“'Yung ganung mga statement talagang kahit ako napi-feel ko ‘yung patriotism ko sa bansa natin, ito ‘yung bansa natin, ipaglaban natin. Nakakapagbigay ng boost sa ating sarili na ipaglaban natin ang bansa natin,” he reiterated.?

The senator, however, said it does not mean that Duterte should be forced to ride the jetski to the disputed area but just to issue a stronger statement.

“Hindi naman siguro tayo papayag na ang Presidente natin mag-jetski. Pero kung ang Presidente natin maglambot para na rin tayong mawalan ng lakas ng loob,” said Pacquiao.

Duterte recently said that China is a friend of the Philippines and the latter owes a debt of gratitude to the former amid the continued Chinese incursions at the West Philippine Sea.

"Sabi ko, I am stating for the record, we don’t want war with China. China is a good friend, mayroon tayong  utang na loob na marami, pati na yung bakuna natin. So China, let it be known China is a good friend and we don’t want trouble with them especially with war," said Duterte.

Pacquiao is the current president of the ruling party PDP-Laban while Duterte is the chairman.—AOL, GMA News

 

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