MANILA, Philippines. A photo of Atty. Salvador Panelo, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s legal counsel, with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has surfaced online after user Servant Rules uploaded it on the microblogging site Twitter.
Based on the caption of the photo, Panelo allegedly took the selfie with the former president and current Representative of the Second District of Pampanga during her 69th birthday bash in her home in La Vista in Quezon City on April 5. The Supreme Court allowed Arroyo, who is currently under hospital detention at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City for plunder and electoral fraud charges, to spend three days in her residence from April 4 to 6.
The power behind Duterte straight from Atty. Panelo who forgot his privacy settings. Hi GMA! Where’s the neck brace? pic.twitter.com/cOruSZ4R22
— Servant Rules (@borgyborgonia1) May 2, 2016
The tweet included screen captures of Panelo’s supposed Facebook account which included photos of the lawyer with GMA.
According to Panelo’s caption, they celebrated along with “volunteer ladies” for Mayor Duterte.
This has left netizens speculating if Arroyo is supporting Duterte’s candidacy. Duterte formerly served as Arroyo’s presidential consultant on public order. However, Arroyo’s allies disclosed that the former president is supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay’s presidential bid.
“There is no formal proclamation yet, but minus the formal proclamation, the marching order of the former president is to help the Vice President,” former Quezon representative Danilo Suarez told Rappler.
On February 5, Duterte revealed his plans to release Arroyo from detention during the gathering of Friends of Rody Duterte in San Fernando, Pampanga.
Duterte announced during the gathering: “If I am elected President, I will release her. Why? Because the evidence [against her] is weak. I know that. I am a lawyer.”
Panelo has not released a statement regarding the issue as of this writing.