Pacquiao: Duterte Must Keep Tough 2016 Campaign Stance on China

The PDP-Laban leader comments on the President's position.
Photo/s: Twitter/Manny Pacquiao

Senator Manny Pacquiao said Monday he found President Rodrigo Duterte's current response on the West Philippine Sea dispute "lacking" as compared to when he was still campaigning for the country's highest position in 2016.

Pacquiao, who serves as president of Duterte's PDP-Laban party, said the 76-year-old leader should maintain his stance on the sea dispute with China when he was still mayor.

The senator cited Duterte's remark then where he said that he would ride a jetski to the disputed territories and plant a Philippine flag there to assert the country's sovereignty.

"Sa akin, nakukulangan ako kumpara doon sa bago pa siya tumakbo, noong mag-eeleksyon pa yan. Dapat ipagpatuloy niya yun para magkaroon din naman ng respeto sa akin ang China," Pacquiao said.

Duterte last week said the Philippines owed China a "huge debt" over the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to the country, but this should not cause a "compromise" on the disputed territories.

Continue reading below ↓

"Malaki utang na loob natin sa China, yung bakuna libre? Mga tulong nila pero sabihin na there are some things in life that cannot be bargained and this is one of them," Duterte said late Wednesday.

"Now, tingnan natin kung anong gawin ng China despite of our pleadings for peace, to settle it, ano gawin nila sa mga barko natin nandiyan," he added.

Eleven senators across party lines recently filed a resolution condemning China's "illegal" activities at the West Philippine Sea.

Pacquiao said he has yet to sign the said resolution, although he already signified his intention to be one of its proponents and to support the measure in the plenary.

Aside from this, he also recently wrote a letter to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian to reiterate his call for China to remove its vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

Sumulat ako dahil alam ko naman at naniniwala ako na papakinggan din tayo. At yung pagsulat naman natin, hindi naman harsh na pagsulat. Nag-request tayo na peace naman ang sinusulong natin," Pacquiao said.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

"So therefore, nakikiusap kami na paalisin niyo ang mga fishing vessels ninyo sa teritoryo namin dahil magkakaroon lang ng tensyon sa pagiging magkaibigan natin," he added.

Since April, Philippine and Chinese ships have been locked in a standoff over fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea, which is engulfed by what China claims as its own, the South China Sea.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last week said the reefs and islands that Beijing claims, despite falling within Manila's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), belong to the Philippines.

China has refused to pull out its ships from reefs inside the Philippines' EEZ despite daily diplomatic protests and summons on its ambassador to Manila.

It also refuses to recognize a United Nation court's ruling that favored the Philippines and invalidated its vast claims.

While the Philippines has filed numerous diplomatic protests over China's actions that endangered the lives of Filipino fishermen, Beijing has built artificial islands over the disputed reefs.

Continue reading below ↓

Reportr is now on Quento. Download the app oniOS and Android or visit the Quento website for more articles and videos from Reportr and your favorite websites.

Latest Headlines
Recent News