Media blamed as Palace clears Diaz, Ho in "oust Duterte matrix"
Malacanang cleared on Friday Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz and television personality Gretchen Ho of any involvement in the alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Diaz and Ho were surprised when their names were in the matrix or diagram that Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presented to the media on May 8 in a press briefing.
The matrix contains the names of some personalities and groups allegedly conspiring to bring down the President and to boost the candidacies of the opposition senatorial candidates.
Panelo blamed media for allegedly putting a "spin" on the stories on the supposed inclusion of Diaz and Ho on the "oust Duterte matrix."
"It is unfortunate that some media outfits have put a spin on the Oust Duterte Matrix by instantly assuming and zeroing in on the supposed inclusion or participation of certain personalities namely, Gretchen Ho and Hidilyn Diaz, whose names this representation never mentioned during last Wednesday's (May 8) press briefing as being part of the ouster plot against our beloved President," he said in a statement.
Shortly after Panelo released the copies of the matrices, which showed the names of Ho and Diaz, media sought for his explanation why the two were included.
It took two days before Panelo came out with the explanation, clearing the two personalities and blaming the media for supposedly spinning their stories.
"The issue at hand is a powerpoint slide, entitled 'Rodel Jayme of Metro Manila Balita,' showing the registered Facebook account or profile of Rodel Jayme. Just by the obvious title of the slide, one can deduce that the subject of its concern is the person of Mr. Jayme," Panelo said.
"The diagram contained in said slide includes other accounts Mr. Jayme is actively following to visualize his character, as well as his political and social interests. It is in this context that the names of Mses. Ho and Diaz appeared," he explained.
He said the slide, which was flashed on the screen during the press briefing "simply proves that the account of Mr. Jayme is real as it reveals his disposition online."
"In sum, there has been a wrong analysis of the diagram by some media outfits which in turn made the basis of a wrong analysis and conclusions by readers and personalities including Mses. Ho and Diaz. It is therefore not surprising why a number of people reacted because the said diagram, together with this erroneous analysis, would indeed lead them to question the same," said Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel.
"We just hope that the faulty analysis made were not intentional with the sole purpose of casting doubt in the intelligence received and vetted by the Office of the President," he added.
In an interview, Panelo clarified he was not the one who prepared the matrix.
"Another thing, that matrix is not mine. I did not make that matrix - (but) I'm now the one being criticized - I'm just the messenger. I just read - presented (the matrix). So when you say I named, I just read what's there. Perhaps what we should look into are the major players who are there," he said.
Asked if he would apologize to Diaz and Ho, Panelo said, "No. I think those who should apologize are those who wrongly analyzed."
Duterte, in a speech in Bohol last Wednesday, said he got intelligence information from foreign source about those people and groups who were conspiring to oust him, including those behind the "Ang Totoong Narco List" videos, accusing some of his family members and former aide Christopher "Bong" Go of their involvement in drug trade.
Duterte's children and Go who were named in the series of video denied the allegations. Celerina Monte/DMS