Panelo reacts: Inquirer editorial ‘lacks common sense’
We take exception to the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s May 14 editorial, entitled “Panelo’s flimflammery,” citing my response to the political meme of Facebook Page “Malacanang Events and Catering Services.” The publication mentioned this as “instant karma” following this representation’s press briefings on the Oust Duterte Matrix.
To begin with, the matrices were released not to deceive or confuse – but to inform – the public of an alleged plot to oust the President with the involvement of several personalities. The matrices have been vetted to be true and as such, the Office of the President takes them seriously.
The case of the political meme, however, is different. An edited on-line image showing a bogus endorsement of Otso Diretso senatorial candidates and others from a member of the President’s cabinet can mislead gullible netizens who believe in what they see or read on the internet.
While the former has been released pursuant to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s constitutional duty to inform the public, the latter is plain and simple black propaganda. While the former is veracious, the latter is fake news. They are as different as chalk and cheese, and comparing them is blatant idiocy.
As regards the inclusion of Gretchen Ho and Hidilyn Diaz, the issue has already been clarified. There had been an erroneous analysis of the diagram by some media outfits which in turn became the basis of faulty conclusions by the public.
To reiterate, the diagram where these two females appeared is not among the five printed matrices which contained the participation of those involved in the ouster plan against the Chief Executive. Compared to the matrices, the focus of said diagram, which is not printed and was just among the slides of a Powerpoint presentation, is the character of Mr. Rodel Jayme as revealed by its very caption. If only media reporters took a closer look at said diagram, they will understand that the names of Mses. Ho and Diaz were included because they were being followed by Mr. Jayme in social media. Or if the reporters only asked the meaning of those lines in the diagram pointing to the names of Ho and Diaz before they made a hasty and wrong conclusion, they would have been told of its significance.
The editorial repeats another erroneous reading and conclusion on the April 22 news briefing when it states that initially I announced that the matrix came from the President then it claims that I backtracked and said that the matrix came from an unknown source. The editorial lacks the common sense it should have possessed. When I said that the ouster plot as shown in the matrix came from the President, it means that any diagram or matrix shown in the news briefing would be coming from the Office of the President, regardless of who sent it thru my phone, which incidentally my phone directory does not have the sender’s name. Obviously the sender sent the matrix to me upon the instruction of the President. That should be as clear as daylight but despite the common sensical logic and repeated clarification, the editorial opted to repeat the same lie about the source of the matrix.
It is not surprising though as this newspaper has a habit of twisting statements coming from the Palace and the President as well, and putting up screaming slanted headliners to put us in a bad light before its readers.
Integral to the Oust Duterte Matrix is Bikoy, who was used by the political opposition at the height of the election campaign season. As we have said repeatedly, we will leave the task of investigation to the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice to file the appropriate charges against whomsoever if warranted.
After the recently concluded elections that showed the resounding victory of the administration’s candidates, the Palace wishes to start with a clean slate which is free from the opposition’s disinformation attacks, which includes the subject editorial from the Inquirer.
SALVADOR S. PANELO, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel & Presidential Spokesperson
(Mr. Panelo’s letter is published verbatim. —Ed.)
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