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Celebs, netizens react to Salvador Panelo’s ‘sorry-not-sotryy’ to Hidilyn Diaz

Panelo said that it’s “disheartening” to see people take the limelight out of Diaz’s triumph and make it into a political sentiment regarding who has the right to celebrate the win.

Celebrities and netizens called out Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo after congratulating the 2020 Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz for her win on June 26.

“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

He previously linked the athlete to a conspiracy aimed to discredit the administration. In 2019, when he was still the presidential spokesperson, Panelo publicized six matrices naming several groups and individuals in an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. This includes Diaz, as well as the TV host and volleyball athlete Gretchen Ho.

When asked about the press regarding the matrices he previously stated, he explained that he was not the one who made it, and he was only asked to present it as it is.

Panelo blamed the media for misunderstanding his presentation, saying that the media had the “wrong analysis” of the diagram.

“When reporters noted the name of Ms. Diaz in the matrix two years ago and hastily concluded that the government is declaring her to be part of an ouster plot against the President, I immediately issued a statement averring otherwise,” he said.

Netizens then brought back his statement and warning against Diaz, saying that their “very credible” intelligence report stated that she’s a part of the drug list. Jim Paredes uploaded the difference between Panelo’s narrative then versus now.

Columnist Boom Buencamino also uploaded the comparison on his Twitter profile.

A netizen suggested that Panelo should’ve apologized first before congratulating the athlete as they tarnished her name by red-tagging her a few years back.

They then encouraged people not to vote for Panelo in the 2022 elections.

Enchong Dee also tweeted the same sentiments on his account.

Unamused, a Twitter user pointed out Panelo’s sudden change of heart.

Comedian Pokwang then poked fun at Panelo’s previous presentation, saying that it looks like a project done by a 5th-grade student.

In a previous interview with journalist Atom Araullo, Diaz got emotional as she talked about the allegations made against her and how they affected her and her family as her mom got alarmed by the people trying to ask her for an interview.

On the other hand, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque congratulated Diaz and said that her achievement is the achievement of the whole nation.

He then denied that the athlete was ever a part of a matrix, saying that he had no idea about the allegations.

Roque was described as “shameless” by a netizen after he greeted Diaz on his Twitter account.

The Philippine Sports Commission was also called out for the photo they used on their congratulatory post to Diaz.

Valenzuela City 2nd District Rep. Eric Martinez didn’t escape the netizens’ criticism as he claimed that he “just did his part” when it comes to the Olympics achievement.


Panelo said that it’s “disheartening” to see people take the limelight out of Diaz’s triumph and make it into a political sentiment regarding who has the right to celebrate the win.

Written by J M

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