'Sorry, not sorry?' Panelo apologizes to Hidilyn; says her pain over matrix was 'misplaced'

Published July 28, 2021, 4:55 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has apologized to Filipino Olympic Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz if her inclusion in a 2019 Oust-Duterte matrix caused her pain but said her pain was “misplaced.”

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and Filipino Olympic Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz (File photos from Salvador Panelo/Facebook and AFP)

Panelo made the statement after the talk about the said matrix resurfaced following Diaz’s historic win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this week.

In an interview with ANC, Panelo reiterated that Diaz’s inclusion in the matrix did not mean anything but to show that she was being followed in social media by a certain Rodel Jayme who was connected to the uploading of the video titled, “Ang Totoong Narco List” during the 2019 elections.

“I’m sorry, I’m sad to know na nasaktan si Hidilyn (that Hidilyn was hurt). I’m sorry for it. Kawawa naman (I feel bad for her),” he said Wednesday, July 28.

He added that it probably was not the intention of those who made the matrix to implicate her in an ouster plot.

“Pero (But) I’m telling Hidilyn, if she is watching, hindi naman yun, palagay ko, intensyon ng mga gumawa ng matrix (I don’t think that was the intention of the people who made the matrix),” Panelo explained.

“There is whatsoever no intention, imagined or real, na nililink mo si Hidilyn (to link Hidilyn). Nagkataon lang na inilagay yung kanyang pagiging fan nitong si Jayme. Yun lang yun e (It just so happened that her being a fan of this Jayme was included there. That’s it),” he added.

Panelo, however, said Diaz’s pain about being included in the matrix was “misplaced.”

“[I apologize] Because nasaktan siya. But sinasabi ko sa kanya misplaced yun pain mo kasi hindi naman talaga yun ang intensyon (I apologize because she was hurt. But I’m telling her that her pain was misplaced because that was never the intention),” he said.

He advised Diaz to take another look at the situation before getting hurt.

“The message is before you feel pain about it, medyo tingnan mo muna kung talagang tama ba yung sapantaha mo (look again to see if your suspicions are correct),” Panelo said.

“Ang problema kasi, ang nangyari naman sa kanya, kaya naman siya naniniwala, eh ang daming nag-react agad (The problem is, she believed she was being implicated because a lot of people hastily reacted),” he added.

Malacañang has congratulated Diaz for winning the country’s first-ever Olympic Gold medal after emerging victorious at the 55kg in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics weightlifting competition.

“The Palace congratulates Hidilyn Diaz for bringing pride and glory to the Philippines for winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal (weightlifting women’s 55kg),” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said on July 26.

“Congratulations, Hidilyn. The entire Filipino nation is proud of you. Laban, Pilipinas (Fight, Philippines)!” he added.

Panelo had likewise extended his own well-wishes to the Filipino Olympic Gold medalist.

Diaz’s inclusion in the matrix came after she publicly asked for financial support for her Olympics training in 2019. She admitted that she got hurt and feared for her life after being included in the said matrix.

On Tuesday, July 27, Roque disowned the matrix, saying it was Panelo who presented it to the public.