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Duterte reproaches Pacquiao for criticizing his stance on West Philippine Sea

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday reproached Senator Manny Pacquiao for criticizing his stand on the West Philippine Sea.

"It's about foreign policy. I would not want to degrade him but next time he should, mag-aral ka muna nang husto," Duterte said in an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City.

"Apparently this guy has a very shallow knowledge," Duterte added.

In May, Pacquiao criticized Duterte's stance on China's incursions in the West Philippine Sea as "lacking."

"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.

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 added.

Pacquiao, however, said it does not mean that Duterte should be forced to ride a 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,” he said.

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