Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic feat makes us Filipinos proud — Panelo

Published July 27, 2021, 2:18 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

A few years after her name was dragged in an alleged ouster plot against President Duterte, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has congratulated Filipino weight lifter Hidilyn Diaz for winning the first-ever Olympic gold for the Philippines.

Gold medallist Philippines’ Hidilyn Diaz stands on the podium for the victory ceremony of the women’s 55kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo International Forum in Tokyo on July 26, 2021. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

According to Panelo, the historic Olympic triumph of Diaz showed the talent and spirt of Filipinos and will hopefully inspire others to clinch gold in the Tokyo Olympics.

“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 broke the country’s decades-old drought by winning the gold in the women’s 55-kilogram weightlifting competition in Tokyo Monday, July 26. The athlete made a record-breaking 127-kg lift in the clean and jerk event that sealed her Olympic victory. Diaz was a silver medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In May 2019, Panelo released a matrix of the alleged Liberal Party-led conspiracy to oust President Duterte. The name of Diaz was among the personalities listed in the diagrams presented by Panelo. At the time, Diaz expressed shock at her inclusion in the Palace matrix and denied involvement in any plot against Duterte.

The Palace official later clarified the name of Diaz appeared only in the diagram on the social media interests of the suspected website administrator who shared anti-Duterte videos. Panelo however refused to apologize then and instead blamed some media outfits for assuming the participation of Diaz in the anti-Duterte plot even though he did not mention the name in his press briefing.