Presidential aspirant Sen. Manny Pacquiao on Saturday said he was blaming the lack of dialogue between the Philippines and China over the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
During the launch of his esports brand Team Pacquiao GG in Parañaque City, Pacquiao encouraged communication between the two countries.
"Kailangan maraming dialogue na gagawin . . . Aalisin lang natin siguro ‘yong pride. Kasi ‘yong pride ang nakakapagpaantala ng pag-uusap ng mga ganyan," he said.
(We need a lot of dialogue . . . We should keep our pride in check. Pride gets in the way of such dialogues.)
Pacquiao added that he wouldn't allow any kind of bullying by China.
"Ayoko ng may nambu-bully sa akin. Lahat ng problema may solusyon ‘yan, pag-usapan natin ‘yan."
(I don't want to get bullied. Every problem has a solution, let's talk it out.)
Tensions arose between the Philippines and China recently after 3 Chinese coast guard vessels used water cannon on resupply boats headed toward Filipino-occupied Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal), one of 9 features in the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) occupied by Filipino troops.
The Philippines has condemned the actions, asserting that Ayungin is part of the KIG, an integral part of the country, as well as its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which it said it has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction. This was affirmed by an international arbitral court in 2016.