Ceasefire? Pacquiao, Duterte Meet in Malacañang

After months of testy exchanges.
Photo/s: Office of Sen. Manny Pacquiao

President Rodrigo Duterte and Sen. Manny Pacquiao met face-to-face on Tuesday night in Malacañang, months after their public falling out that cost the senator his leadership at one of the country's oldest political parties.

Both Malacañang and Pacquiao's camp confirmed the senator's meeting with the President, adding the two discussed matters related to Mindanao development, particularly on infrastructure and the power industry.

"It was a short and cordial meeting requested by the camp of the good Senator," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

"There was no talk of politics but a renewal of friendship," he said.

Also present in the meeting were Duterte's top aide, Sen. Bong Go, and 1-PACMAN party-list Rep. Eric Pineda.

Pacquiao and Duterte, who occupied the two highest positions in PDP-Laban, earlier traded barbs after the President took offense at the senator's remarks on corruption and the government's actions in the West Philippine Sea.

The 76-year-old Duterte accused Pacquiao of having "very shallow knowledge" of the maritime dispute, and even dared him to prove corruption in the government.

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The disagreements between Pacquiao and Duterte resulted in the senator being removed as acting PDP-Laban president by the group led by Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, who was elected in his place.

Despite rifts within the party, Pacquiao pushed through with his plan to run for president in the 2022 elections. Duterte's supporters in PDP-Laban fielded Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa for president and Go for vice president.


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