Duterte to Pacquiao on West PH Sea: ‘Mag-aral ka muna nang husto’

Jun 9, 2021
PHOTO: (Duterte) Jerome Ascano

THE PRESIDENT did not mince words in his criticism of senator Manny Pacquiao.

On May 4, the athlete-politician had commented that he had found President Duterte’s West Philippine Sea policy and stance against China lacking, citing Duterte’s infamous “jetski” campaign promise.

“Yung una niyang statement bago pa siya tumakbo, na mag-jetski siya, ipaglaban niya yung Philippine Sea [...] nagbigay ‘yan ng encouragement sa ating mga kababayan, lumakas ang loob natin, sinasabi ko yung totoo, lumakas ang loob ko,” Pacquiao said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer On-Line.

He added: “Sa akin, nakukulangan ako, nakukulangan ako kumpara doon sa bago pa siya tumakbo, nage-eleksyon pa lang. Dapat ipatuloy niya 'yun para magkaroon din naman tayo ng respeto. Ibig sabihin, magkaroon ng respeto sa atin ang China.”

The president finally got around in his rebuttal in an interview of his own — this time on SMNI, in a one-on-one interview with his spiritual advisor Apollo Quiboloy.

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"It's about foreign policy. I would not want to degrade him but next time he should ... mag-aral ka muna ng husto,” Duterte said of Pacquiao.

“Apparently this guy has a very shallow knowledge of…” the president continued without finishing his sentence.

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As his August 21 fight with Errol Spence nears, Pacquiao looks to be battling rifts within his political party, PDP-Laban. The organization, which is also Duterte’s political party, pushed through with a May 31 national council meeting despite the athlete’s protests. Pacquiao is the current president of PDP-Laban.

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On June 2, Pacquiao criticized party vice-chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi in a privilege speech in the Senate, saying, “[T]his advice is, I think, very important na unahin na muna natin yung trabaho natin, saka na ‘yung pulitika. Kaya nagdivide-divide, divided yung mga tao because of that politics.”

Cusi had convened the PDP-Laban meeting, with Duterte’s blessing.

As of posting, Pacquiao has not responded to the president’s remarks to Quiboloy.

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PHOTO: (Duterte) Jerome Ascano
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