Hidilyn Diaz on 'matrix' tag: ‘It happens for a reason; I won gold’

Published August 1, 2021, 12:33 PM

by Raymund Antonio

After being tagged by Malacañang in 2019 over supposed plans to oust President Duterte, Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz said that things happen for a reason and that ordeal eventually led to her winning the country’s first Olympic gold.

President Duterte’s virtual courtesy call with Filipino Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz on July 28, 2021. (RTVM Screenshot)

Diaz added that she has already forgiven Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and her bashers.

“Masasabi ko lang na may rason bakit nangyari iyon. At ito nauwi ko ang gold medal para sa Pilipinas (All I can say is that there is a reason why it happened. And this, I took home the gold medal for the Philippines),” she said on Vice President Leni Robredo’s Sunday radio show where she was a special guest.

Diaz, who took home the gold medal after lifting an Olympic record of 127kgs on Monday, July 26, was mentioned in a 2019 matrix of personalities involved in a move to oust the President. It was presented by Panelo to the media.

READ: ‘Sorry, not sorry?’ Panelo apologizes to Hidilyn; says her pain over matrix was ‘misplaced’

She denied being involved in the matrix back then, saying that she was too busy to prepare for the Olympics.

Diaz revealed in the past how she was bashed and how people on social media alleged her father to be a member of the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Meanwhile, despite the lackluster support by the government and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to Filipino athletes, Diaz still thanked the government, as well as the private sector, for helping Filipino athletes in their bid to win at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“Masasabi ko lang po siguro hindi naman po pwede iasa natin parati sa gobyerno. Kailangan din po ng assistance or tulong galing sa private sponsors then iyon nga, kaya natin manalo ng gold kung sama-sama po tayo (What I can say is that maybe we cannot always rely on the government. We need assistance or help from the private sponsors then, we can win the gold if we are together),” she said.

READ: Hidilyn Diaz’ 2019 post on financial support; look where she is now

Business tycoon Manny Pangilinan, through the MVP Sports Foundation, was one of Diaz’s private sector sponsors.

Robredo, for her part, agreed that the private sector should play a huge role in supporting Diaz and other athletes like hers.

“Iyon ‘yung importante siguro na ipaabot sa lahat hindi lang sa gobyerno pati sa private na para makaproduce tayo nang mas maraming Hidilyn Diaz, maganda sana kung bago pa ng kompetisyon, sama-sama talaga sumusuporta ang lahat kasi pinakita mo kaya eh, kaya ng Pilipino (Maybe that’s what’s important to show everyone, not only the government but also the private that to produce more Hidilyn Diaz, it’s better if before the competition, we’re united in supporting because you showed that Filipinos can do it),” she said.

Diaz will receive a total of P20.5 million from the government—P10 million as mandated by a law enacted during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, P5 million from PSC, P2.5 million from her home province of Zamboanga, and P3 million from President Duterte.

READ: Sacrifice, exile: how Filipina Hidilyn Diaz made Olympic history

She will also receive P10 million each from Pangilinan and San Miguel Corp.’s Chief Executive Officer Ramon Ang. Air Asia will give her a lifetime worth of unlimited tickets while Philippine Airlines gifted her with 80,000 free miles per year for life.

Diaz will also get a P14-million worth of condominium unit from Andrew Tan’s Megaworld and a house and lot each from Century Properties, the government of Zamboanga City, and Tagaytay City.