Panelo: ‘Sorry’ for hurting Hidilyn Diaz but ‘misplaced ‘yung pain mo’
MANILA, Philippines — Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday apologized to Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz for hurting her feelings, but not without also insisting that the athlete’s pain over her inclusion in the alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte was “misplaced.”
“Madali mag-apologize kung mali ang ginawa mo, pero kung wala ka namang ginawa, like for example, ano bang ginawa ko? I just presented the matrix, na wala naman akong kinalaman, upon the instructions of the President. You cannot apologize for something that you have not committed,” Panelo said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
(It’s easy to apologize if you have done something wrong. But if there’s none, like for example, what did I do? I just presented that matrix, which I don’t have anything to do with, upon the instructions of the President. You cannot apologize for something you have not committed.)
“I’m sorry, I’m sad to know na nasaktan si Hidilyn. I’m sorry for that, kawawa naman. I’m telling Hidilyn if she’s watching, hindi naman ‘yun ang intensyon ng gumawa ng matrix,” he added.
(I’m sorry, I’m sad to know Hidilyn was hurt. I’m sorry for that, it’s such a pity. I’m telling Hidilyn if she’s watching, that’s not the intention of the one who made the matrix.)
Panelo maintained he did not link Diaz in the so-called Oust Duterte matrix and explained she was only there because her social media account was being followed by a certain Rodel Jayme who uploaded the viral “Ang Totoong Narco List” — videos linking the President, his family, and allies in the illegal drug trade.
It was in 2019 when Panelo, then-presidential spokesperson, presented to the press six matrices of a supposed wide network of personalities conspiring to overthrow Duterte. In one of the matrices, the name of Diaz and volleyball player and TV host Gretchen Ho appeared.
Panelo had put the blame on the media purportedly for its wrong analysis of the diagram, subsequently clearing Diaz and Ho from the alleged ouster plot. A couple of years later, Panelo still blamed the media, which merely reported the matrix he presented during a Palace briefing.
Diaz expressed shock then at her supposed involvement in an alleged conspiracy against the government.
“Misplaced ‘yung pain mo kasi hindi naman talaga iyon ang intensyon. The message is, before you feel pain about, medyo tignan mo muna kung tama ‘yung sapantaha mo,” Panelo said Wednesday, addressing Diaz.
(Your pain is misplaced because that was not the intention. The message is, before you feel pain, take a look if your suspicion is right.)
“Mali ang interpretasyon, ‘yun ang ipinupinto ko. Walang dapat ipag-sorry. Nag-sorry lang ako kasi nasaktan siya, pero wala naman dapat ipag-sorry kasi hindi naman siya sinasama eh. Hindi siya kasama,” he added.
(The interpretation was wrong, that’s what I’m pointing out. There’s no need to be sorry. So I only said sorry because she was hurt, but no need to be sorry because we’re not linking her. She’s not included.)
Diaz ended the Philippines’ drought for a gold medal in the Olympics after setting a record of a total lift of 224 kilograms and winning the women’s 55 kilograms weightlifting competition in Tokyo on July 26.