Panelo: No need for Duterte to confirm he was matrix source

Published May 4, 2019, 10:54 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said it was not necessary for President Duterte to confirm that the ouster plot matrix came from his office, despite his admission that the diagram he showed to the media last month came from an unknown number.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

In an interview over DZMM, Panelo said that the sender of the matrix was irrelevant and that he did not need to confirm who it was since he was certain that it came from the Office of the President.

“That’s irrelevant. That’s unimportant to me,” Panelo said when asked if he did not bother to call the sender and confirm their identity.

“How can that be important, sinabi na nga ng Presidente na, ‘O, papadala sa iyo ‘yung matrix.’ O, ‘di pinadala na nga, may inutusan siya eh (How can that be important when the President already said that he will send one. I received one, so it means he ordered someone to do it),” he added.

According to Panelo, there was no need to confirm that the President was the source of the matrix since Duterte did not object to it when it was released.

“Unnecessary [for him to confirm]. The fact alone na pinag-uusapan na iyan at walang sinasabi si Presidente na hindi ‘yan iyong matrix na tinutukoy ko, eh common sense will tell you na, iyon ang matrix (The fact alone that it’s been on the news and he has not says anything means it’s the same matrix. It’s common sense),” he said.

The Palace official then reiterated that Duterte would never release any information that had not been verified by his numerous sources.

“Marami siyang sources at iyon ‘yung tipo ng tao na hindi maglalabas ng isang impormasyon na hindi niya vinet o hindi niya vinalidate (He has many sources of information and he’s not the type to release them without vetting or validating),” Panelo said.

Earlier, Panelo said that it was not necessary to provide proof that people named in the matrix were involved in an ouster plot since courts cannot act on conspiracies.

“Those named in the matrix demand proof of their participation in the ouster plot. Such is totally unnecessary. The matrix shows that there is an ouster plot. It is just a plot, a plan, an idea. The same is not actionable in court it being just a conspiracy,” he said two weeks after the matrix was released.

“Conspiracy is not a crime unless the law specifically classifies a particular conspiracy to undertake a project or actualize a plan as a crime,” he added.

Duterte has vowed to release information linking investigative journalists to Bikoy, the person behind the video alleging that members of the President’s family are involved in the illegal drug trade. Duterte said that the information came from a foreign country.