Panelo: Inquirer editorial on matrices lacks ‘common sense’
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who has failed to clearly explain the links in the “Oust Duterte” matrix, slammed an INQUIRER editorial for lack of “common sense.”
The editorial – titled “Panelo’s flimflammery,” which came out on the paper’s May 14 issue, scoffed at Panelo for “gnashing and whinging” after the satirical Facebook page “Malacañang Events and Catering” posted a photoshopped image of him, from his May 8 press conference, appearing to endorse the Otso Diretso opposition senatorial candidates.
READ: Panelo’s flimflammery
The editorial cited how Panelo eventually backtracked and cleared Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz and athlete-turned-TV host Gretchen Ho in the alleged ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a May 8 press briefing, Panelo showed diagrams linking the Liberal Party, the Magdalo party-list group, and several individuals allegedly conniving to oust the President.
The names of Diaz and Ho appeared in one of the diagrams.
“It is not surprising though as this newspaper has a habit of twisting statements coming from the Palace and the President as well, and putting up screaming slanted headliners to put us in a bad light before its readers,” Panelo said in a statement.
Despite being heavily criticized for the veracity of the matrices, Panelo inisted that they had been properly vetted before being released.
“The matrices have been vetted to be true, and as such, the Office of the President takes them seriously,” he said.
“As regards the inclusion of Gretchen Ho and Hidilyn Diaz, the issue has already been clarified. There had been an erroneous analysis of the diagram by some media outfits which in turn became the basis of faulty conclusions by the public,” he said.
The matrices, he said, “were released not to deceive or confuse – but to inform – the public of an alleged plot to oust the President with the involvement of several personalities.”
Panelo, however, did not immediately respond to media questions when asked to explain about the inclusion of Diaz and Ho in the matrices.
He only answered questions regarding the issue two days after he released the diagrams.
“The diagram where these two females appeared is not among the five printed matrices which contained the participation of those involved in the ouster plan against the Chief Executive,” he said.
“The focus of said diagram, which is not printed and was just among the slides of a Powerpoint presentation, is the character of Mr. Rodel Jayme as revealed by its very caption.”
Jayme has been indicted for sedition for being the administrator of the website where the “The True Narcolist” series of videos were posted.
The videos accused the President and his son, Paolo Duterte, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, along with some of their friends, of being involved in illegal drugs.
“If only media reporters took a closer look at said diagram, they will understand that the names of Misses Ho and Diaz were included because they were being followed by Mr. Jayme in social media,” Panelo said. “Or if the reporters only asked the meaning of those lines in the diagram pointing to the names of Ho and Diaz before they made a hasty and wrong conclusion, they would have been told of its significance.”
But when pressed during the May 8 Palace briefing, Panelo could not fully explain the links, saying further questions should be directed to President Duterte.
“The editorial lacks the common sense it should have possessed,” Panelo said. “When I said that the ouster plot as shown in the matrix came from the President, it means that any diagram or matrix shown in the news briefing would be coming from the Office of the President, regardless of who sent it through my phone, which incidentally my phone directory does not have the sender’s name. Obviously the sender sent the matrix to me upon the instruction of the President.”
Panelo earlier revealed that the ouster matrix he presented on April 22 was sent to his phone througn an “unknown number.”
“The editorial repeats another erroneous reading and conclusion on the April 22 news briefing when it states that initially I announced that the matrix came from the President then it claims that I backtracked and said that the matrix came from an unknown source,” he said.
“That should be as clear as daylight but despite the common sensical logic and repeated clarification, the editorial opted to repeat the same lie about the source of the matrix,” he added.
Panelo, who is also the President’s chief legal counsel, said Malacañang would “leave the task of investigation to the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice to file the appropriate charges against whomsoever if warranted.”
“After the recently concluded elections that showed the resounding victory of the administration’s candidates, the Palace wishes to start with a clean slate which is free from the opposition’s disinformation attacks, which includes the subject editorial from the Inquirer,” he said.
(Editorial: Alexander T. Magno)
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