Philippines: Pacquiao Campaign Vows Boxing Champ Will Confront China if Elected President

Philippines: Pacquiao Campaign Vows Boxing Champ Will Confront China if Elected President

Philippine Sen. Manny Pacquiao would “assert” Manila’s territorial rights in the South China Sea before the United Nations (U.N.) if elected president of the Philippines in 2022, Pacquiao’s vice-presidential running mate, Lito Atienza, told reporters on Monday.

“Manny Pacquiao would assert the Philippines’ right to the West Philippine Sea before the United Nations,” Atienza told the Philippine news site ABS-CBN on November 22.

“We will seriously take the Philippines claims to the United Nations,” the politician, who served as Manila’s mayor from 1998 to 2007, said.

“The claims and counterclaims are there. That is where we should show our decisiveness, our knowledge, or courage,” the vice-presidential hopeful added.

Atienza used the term “West Philippine Sea,” which is Manila’s name for the section of the South China Sea immediately west of the Philippine archipelago. The West Philippine Sea contains Manila’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is a section of maritime territory in which a country holds sovereign rights to fishing, natural resource exploration, and other activities. China routinely encroaches on the Philippines’ EEZ and has ramped up this behavior in recent months.

Gabrielle Reyes