Roque distances from Hidilyn Diaz’s inclusion in oust-Duterte matrix
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday said there is no need for him to apologize as he sought to distance himself from the previous inclusion of Olympian Hidilyn Diaz in the matrices that supposedly illustrate a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Wala po, as spokesperson, wala po akong kahit anong binintang kay Hidilyn Diaz,” Roque said in a press briefing, when asked if Malacañang should apologize for tagging Diaz in the alleged ouster plot.
(None, as spokesperson, I did not accuse Hidilyn Diaz of anything.)
“Hindi ko po alam yung sinasabi niyong matrix kasi sa tanggapan ko po, at iisa lang po ang opisyal na spokesperson ng gobyerno, ako lang po iyon, wala po kaming ganyan,” he also said.
(I don’t know what matrix you are talking about because in my office, and there’s only one official government spokesperson which is me, we don’t have anything like that.)
The matrices referred to was the ones presented by chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, a former spokesperson of President Duterte, in 2019, prior to the appointment of Roque.
In one of these matrices, Diaz was indicated as among those plotting to destabilize the administration. matrix. Aside from Diaz, athlete-turned-TV host Gretchen Ho was also included in the list.
Panelo later admitted he cannot explain why the two sports women were included in the matrix, and later conveniently blamed the media for its supposed “wrongful assessment” of the matrix.
Meanwhile, Diaz expressed shock over the conspiracy while laughing off the allegation, saying she has other goals in life and for the Philippines.
On Monday, Diaz ended the Philippines’ drought for a gold medal in the Olympics after setting an Olympic record of a total lift of 224 kilograms and winning the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting competition.