Olympian Hidilyn Diaz fears for life after inclusion in oust-Duterte matrix

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 9) — Fear gripped Olympian Hidilyn Diaz upon learning that she is in a supposed conspiracy to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Filipino lady weightlifter, who bagged the first gold medal for the Philippines in the 2018 Asian Games, said she found the "Oust Duterte" matrix funny at first, but considered it a threat to her life now.

"Noong unang nakarating sa akin ang balita na nadawit ang pangalan ko, natawa lang ako. Akala ko biro. Pero nang nakapag-isip ako, may takot na rin ako. Hindi dahil sa totoo ang balita, kundi dahil sa seguridad ko at ng pamilya ko," Diaz said in a statement on her Facebook page Thursday.

[Translation: When I first heard that my name was there, I just laughed. I thought it was a joke. But when I though about it, I had fear as well. Not because it is true, but I feared for me and my family's security.]

In a video attached to the statement, Diaz lamented how she landed on the matrix when all she has in mind is to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and represent the country.

"Sobrang focused ako sa goal ko for Tokyo 2020 and sana po wag po kayong ganon na idadawit niyo ang pangalan ng isang tao na sobrang busy at sobrang sinasakripisyo ang lahat para sa Pilipinas, ginagawa ang lahat para irepresenta ang Pilipinas sa weightlifting, sa Philippine sports and suddenly ilalagay lang ang pangalan sa isang matrix na walang basehan," Diaz said. She stressed she remains focused to achieve her goal.

Translation: "I am so focused on my goal for Tokyo 2020. Please do not drag the name of someone who is so busy sacrificing everything for the Philippines, doing everything to represent the Philippines in weightlifting, in Philippine sports but you suddenly put her name in a baseless matrix."

Diaz said all she needs now is the support of every Filipino.

"Hindi paninira, hindi pagbibintang, hindi gawa-gawang kuwento, hindi kasinungalingan ang kailangan ko po mula sa ating kababayan. Ang kailangan ko po ay suporta, suporta hindi lang para sa akin kundi sa iba pang mga Pilipinong atleta. Ang binubuhat ko ay hindi lang bakal, kundi ang dangal ng mga Pilipino.

[Translation: I do not need defamation, accusations, made-up stories, I do not need lies from our fellow Filipinos. I need support, not just for me but for all Filipino athletes. I am not just lifting weights, I am uplifting the dignity of every Filipino.]

She reiterated she is not involved in any attempt to overthrow the government.

Diaz was among personalities tagged by Malacanang in a plot to oust the President, along with volleyball-star-turned-TV-host Gretchen Ho. They both denied the accusations on Wednesday, shortly after Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presented the matrix in a white cartolina in a Palace briefing. The matrix included political and media personalities supposedly working hand-in-hand against the administration.

Panelo said it was Duterte's order for him to present the matrix, but said he did not know the sources of the intelligence information. Many of those tagged have since denied involvement in efforts to destabilize the government.