Pacquiao open to joint exploration of WPS with China


Posted at Dec 10 2021 06:44 PM

Senator and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao. Senate handout photo/file
Senator and presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao. Senate handout photo/file

Presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao is open to a possible joint exploration of the West Philippine Sea with China.

This is “if it will lead to peace and mutual economic benefits for the two countries,” the senator said Friday.

“Para sa akin ay puwede naman ang joint exploration at kung may madiskubre (langis at iba pang mineral), kasama iyan sa pag-uusapan, para hindi mapunta sa kaguluhan ang bawat panig,” he said.

(For me a joint exploration is okay. If we get to discover oil and other important resources, we will talk about it to avoid tension.)

Several countries including the Philippines have overlapping territorial claims to portions of South China Sea, which stretches from Singapore in the southwest to Taiwan in the northeast. 

A United States Energy Information Administration analysis shows that some areas of the contested waters contain oil and natural gas as well as other minerals believed to be worth trillions of dollars.

About one-fifth of these resources may be found in contested areas, particularly in the Reed Bank at the northeast end of the Spratly Islands, which is also being claimed by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam. 

But Pacquiao pointed out that the Philippines and China must meet first at the negotiating table to discuss any problems and issues surrounding the diplomatic ties between the two nations.

“Dapat patuloy at marami ang komunikasyon sapagkat hindi natatapos ang ganitong (usapin) sa isang usapan lamang,” he added.

(Dialogues should be continuous because such issues can not be covered in one sitting.)

The retired boxing superstar earlier said he is willing to hold a dialogue with China, if elected president. But he said he won't tolerate any kind of bullying.

"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, we can talk it out.)

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