Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday issued a non-apology to Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, saying he was sorry for hurting her feelings but maintaining that he did not do anything wrong.
The Palace, then represented by Panelo as spokesman, included the weightlifter in an unproven “ouster plot matrix” that allegedly aimed to kick President Rodrigo Duterte out of office.
Diaz had said that the inclusion of her name made her fear for her life and the safety of her family.
“Madaling mag-apologize kung mali ang ginawa mo, pero kung wala ka namang ginawa, like for example, ano bang ginawa ko? I just presented the matrix, na wala naman akong kinalaman, upon the instructions of the president,” Panelo said in an ANC interview.
“You cannot apologize for something that you have not committed,” Panelo maintained.
Panelo asserted that the matrix was not his doing and that the pain it caused Diaz was due to it being misinterpreted.
“Mali ang interpretasyon, ‘yun ang pinupinto ko. Walang dapat ipag-sorry. Nag-sorry lang ako kasi nasaktan siya, pero wala naman dapat ipag-sorry kasi hindi naman siya sinasama eh. Hindi siya kasama,” Panelo said.
Panelo earlier congratulated Diaz for winning the Philippines’ first Olympic gold.
“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.
Panelo’s predecessor and successor as Palace spokesman, Harry Roque, also refused to apologize for the inclusion of Diaz’s name in the matrix.
“Wala po ano. As spokesperson, wala po akong kahit anong ibinintang kay Hidilyn Diaz,” he said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro