Lacson says release of ‘destabilization’ matrix unfair
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson believes that the release of the alleged matrix linking people who are supposedly plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte was not fair.
Lacson said on Thursday that the destabilization matrix, which was the banner story of a national broadsheet last April 22, was published without being validated.
“I don’t think it’s fair. Because in the first place by their own admission, Malacañang din nanggaling ang matrix,” Lacson said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel on Thursday when asked whether the matrix released by The Manila Times was fair.
“And it was published without proper validation. And as it turns out, mukhang may mali sa matrix na ginawa,” he added.
Last April 22, Times Chairman Emeritus Dante A. Ang wrote a story about a plan to “discredit” President Rodrigo Duterte and “destabilize” the government. He claims that the source was a “high-ranking official” from the Office of the President.
Malacañang confirmed the existence of the matrix, although Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo admitted that he got his copy of the matrix from an unidentified number. He said the matrix he received was similar to the Times’ matrix.
The supposed matrix involved journalist Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files who allegedly uploaded the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos and fed it to other media organizations Rappler and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL).
However, those implicated in the matrix claimed that it is not true, with PCIJ even saying that some of the personnel listed in the document were no longer with them, while some performed in a capacity not linked to journalism.
The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) meanwhile also condemned the story, calling it “amateurish” especially because former NUJP chair and Times editor Inday Espina-Varona has been placed under NUPL.
The decision to publish the matrix even without getting the sides of the people involved had estranged former Times managing editor Felipe Salvosa II. Salvosa was asked to resign by the newspaper’s management, but he claimed he was keen on leaving the publication. /je
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