Pacquiao responds to Duterte: 'I am a Filipino voicing out what needs to be said’

Jun 9, 2021

MANNY Pacquiao landed a quick counterpunch to Rodrigo Duterte’s criticism of his “shallow knowledge” of policy issues on the West Philippine Sea.

In a SMNI interview yesterday night, the president (and Manny Pacquiao’s PDP-Laban partymate) disapproved of the boxer’s earlier criticism of his stance on China. Speaking to religious leader Apollo Quiboloy, the president advised the senator, “Mag-aral ka muna nang husto.”

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In response, Pacquiao said today in a statement, “I respect the President’s opinion but humbly disagree with his assessment of my understanding of foreign policy.”

He continued: “I am a Filipino voicing out what needs to be said in defense of what has been adjudicated as rightfully ours. I regret that the President was misinformed regarding my statement on the West Philippine Sea issue.”

Furthermore, “I firmly believe that my statement reflects the sentiment of majority of the Filipinos, that we should stand strong in protecting our sovereign rights while pursuing a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the dispute,” Pacquiao concluded his statement.

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On May 4, the boxer-politician said in an interview that he found the president’s policy on the West Philippine Sea lacking (“nakukulangan”).

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