Palace: ‘No falling out’ between Duterte, Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines — There is “no falling out” between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Manny Pacquiao, a known administration ally, who found the chief executive’s stance on the West Philippine Sea issue lacking, Malacañang said Tuesday.
“I don’t think there is a falling out,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in an online briefing when asked if there’s any rift between Duterte and Pacquiao.
“Hanggang ngayon po, nananatiling napakalaking fan ni Senator Pacquiao ang ating Presidente sa larangan ng palakasan lalo na sa larangan ng boxing. Hanggang doon na lang po tayo,” he added.
(Until now, the President remains to be a huge fan of Senator Pacquiao in terms of strength and in the field of boxing. Let’s leave it at that.)
Pacquiao said Duterte’s stance on the issue of the disputed waters waned compared to when he was still campaigning for the presidency.
The senator recalled that prior to his presidential win, Duterte said he would ride a jet ski to the West Philippine Sea and plant the Philippine flag there.
“Narinig natin bago mag-election, sa pangangampanya, nung sinabi niya na mag-jet ski siya, dala yung watawat ng Pilipinas doon, e siyempre, kahit ako sa puso ko, ito na yung iboboto ko dahil ito yung dapat na presidente, kailangan natin, na pinaglalaban yung bansa natin,” said Pacquiao, who serves as acting president of Duterte’s political party PDP-Laban.
(We heard what he said before the elections as he was campaigning that he was going to ride a jet ski carrying the Philippine flag to the Spratlys, so of course, I felt it in my heart to vote for him because that’s the kind of president that we need; someone who will fight for our country.)
The President has repeatedly asserted that the Philippines would not go to war with China over the conflict in the disputed waters.
Duterte even said the Philippines owed a “debt of gratitude” to China because of its assistance to the country, including the vaccines it donated.
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