Philippine Olympic gold medal linked to alleged plot to oust Duterte

Filipino Hidilyn Diaz wins the gold medal in the weightlifting women55kg competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on July 26, 2021.

Vincenzo Pinto | AFP | .

Two years before Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the country first never an Olympic gold medalist, she was linked to an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

Diaz, who won the historic gold medal at the Tokyo Games on Monday, he had found his name among many others in a released chart in May 2019 by Duterte’s spokesperson in that moment. The spokesman said those listed on the graphic were involved in a conspiracy to discredit Duterte and increase the chances of opposition politicians in the upcoming elections.

The spokesperson later said Diaz, who he was then preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, it was It will not start of the alleged plot against Duterte. He said his name only appeared as part of it of a network of one of the supposed minds of the plot, e he reportedly blamed the media for concluding that Diaz was directly involved.

Just forget them, you already have gold. Gold is gold. And it would be good for your just let the past be past and abide alone on your victory …

Rodrigo Duterte

Philippine president

The 2019 incident resurfaced this week after Diaz won Olympic gold and Duterte on Wednesday he told her in a call “let the past be the past”. The official Philippine News Agency newswire reported that the president asked Diaz to forget the “unpleasant things” between her and the government.

“Just forget them, you already have gold. Gold is gold. And it would be good for your just let the past be past and abide alone on your victory, together with your family And of course with the nation, “Duterte would have said.

Diaz had feared for her and her family’S safety after being linked to the alleged expulsion plot, like some people named in the diagram were targeted by the government and some are even finished up be killed, Philippine reported online news Rappler site.

The Olympic champion She said in an interview this week with Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN News would forgive them who threatened his life back then.

She added who no longer needs Duterte’s apology former spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who released the diagram with his name on it, the broadcaster reported.

‘Ouster texture matrix’

In addition to Diaz, the names of dozens of journalists, human rights lawyers and opposition politicians appeared in the chart that Panelo revealed in 2019. The diagram, together with some others issued by Duterte government, became known locally as the “expulsion plot matrix”.

Panelo then said that Duterte had received “intelligence information”on the alleged plot and “validated” the diagram, according to the Philippine news agency.

Some individuals And organizations named in the diagrams – many of they critics of the Duterte government – denied the allegations and slammed the presidential elections office for defaming them. Duterte often has he portrayed his own critics how enemies since I arrived power in 2016.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gives a speech at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on June 1, 2017.

Noel Celis | AFP | .

Since Diaz’s victory in the Tokyo Olympics, officials of the Duterte government they tried to distance same from the 2019 episode.

When asked whether the presidential office should sorry to Diaz, current Presidential spokesman Harry Roque reportedly this week he made no accusations against her.

Panelo – now Duterte’s presidential legal head counsel – claimed not to connect Diaz to the alleged conspiracy.

“It’s really disheartening that there are people who try to take the limelight out of The recent triumph of Mrs. Diaz and transform it in a political skirmish of who should And should do not celebrate our country win, ” He said in a statement on Tuesday.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC Sports and NBC Olympics. NBC Olympics is the United States broadcast rights holder at all Summer and Winter Games until 2032.

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