Palace clarifies Gretchen Ho, Hidilyn Diaz not part of ouster matrix

By EJ Roque

May 11, 2019, 11:14 am

MANILA -- Malacañang on Friday clarified that celebrity host Gretchen Ho, and Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz are not part of the ouster plot matrix against President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

In an interview with reporters, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Ho and Diaz's names appeared because their accounts are followed by website developer Rodel Jayme, who is connected to the uploading of the video titled, “Ang Totoong Narco List (The True Narcolist)”.

"Parang pinakita lang doon na itong si Rodel Jayme, very active ang kaniyang account, tapos ito ‘yung mga pina-follow niya. Pinapakita kung anong interest niya, anong political interest o anong pagkatao niya (It just showed that Rodel Jayme has a very active account and these are the accounts that he follows. It showed his interests, political interest, personality)," he said.

Panelo clarified that he never mentioned the names of Ho and Diaz during his presentation of the matrix.

"In the first place, hindi naman sila involved (they are not involved). Ano lang iyon eh (It's just that), I think some of you or others who may have seen that diagram made a wrong analysis," he said.

However, Panelo stood firm on the authenticity of the ouster matrix he presented.

"Pag presidente ka, hindi ka lang basta maglalabas ng mga impormasyon na hindi mo ginawa ang (If you are president, you won't just release information without doing the) necessary vetting," he said.

"'Yung tinanggap ni Presidente (The information received by the President is), intelligence information ‘yan. So, siguro ‘yung nag-present sa kaniya gumawa ng diagram/matrix para makita ni Presidente kung ano ang -- how it works (The one who presented it to him made a diagram/matrix for the President to see how it works)," he said.

Panelo, also Chief Presidential legal counsel, on Wednesday, tagged the opposition Liberal Party (LP) and other groups as among those conspiring to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte and boost their candidates’ chances of winning in Monday’s mid-term polls.

He said some members of LP, Magdalo group, and media organizations in the “Oust Duterte” matrix are working together as part of efforts to destroy the Duterte administration’s image. He added that copies of the matrices were validated by the President himself. (PNA)