Panelo congratulates ‘destabilizer’ Diaz on Olympic win
MANILA, Philippines — Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, who previously linked Olympic gold medallist Hidilyn Diaz in a conspiracy to discredit the administration, on Tuesday said the athlete’s recent win in the Tokyo Olympics “makes Filipinos proud.”
In 2019, Panelo, who was then the presidential spokesperson, presented to the public six matrices linking several individuals and groups, including Diaz, to an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
But in a complete turnaround, Panelo said Diaz’s achievement during the Tokyo Olympics “serves as an inspiration to all Filipino athletes.”
“Her feat makes us Filipinos proud. Her getting the gold is a testament to the Filipino race’s talent and indefatigable spirit,” Panelo said in a statement.
“It serves as an inspiration to all Filipino athletes that getting gold in the Olympics is no longer a dream but a reality. Congratulations Hidilyn Diaz !!!” he added.
Diaz bagged the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal after conquering the women’s 55-kilo weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Diaz lifted a total weight of 224 kilos to seal the gold medal after she also lifted 97 kilos and 127 kilos in the snatch and clean and jerk categories, respectively.
When pressed by the media, Panelo could not explain why Diaz, as well as star volleyball player and TV hosg Gretchen Ho were listed in one of the six matrices he presented to the media.
He said he did not make the matrices and he was just asked to present it “as is” with no explanation.
Panelo then blamed the media for what he called its “wrong analysis” on the oust-Duterte diagram he presented.
During that time, Diaz expressed shock over her inclusion in the conspiracy.