This file photo shows Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
The STAR/Joven Cagande, File
‘Malicious use of my image’: Panelo cries foul over a meme
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - May 10, 2019 - 10:23am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo slammed a parody page for posting of meme of him supposedly endorsing opposition senatorial candidates for the May midterm polls.

Panelo called out Malacañang Events and Catering Services late Thursday. The satire page posted an edited photo of the president’s mouthpiece during a media briefing where he alleged there is a wider conspiracy to discredit the Duterte administration.

The photo posted by the satire page was edited so it seems Panelo was endorsing candidates from Otso Diretso, former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and labor leader Leody de Guzman “for an independent Senate.”

While acknowledging the post is a “political meme,” Panelo said it “amounts to a defamatory imputation.”

He argued there are still social media users who believe in what they see or read on the internet, including photos that have been obviously altered.

“It is for this reason that I strongly denounce this political mudslinging,” Panelo said, calling on the fact-checkers of Facebook to show their impartiality.

Under the Revised Penal Code, defamatory imputations “impute a crime, vice, defect, or any act, or omission, condition, status or circumstance, tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt to a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.”

The president’s spokesperson even alleged that some supporters of the political opposition are “showing signs of extreme desperation” as the election day nears.  

“This is nothing but false news dished out by the supporters of the political opposition which by its reckoning is headed for a resounding debacle,” Panelo said.

On Wednesday, Malacañang said tagged the personalities linked to the erstwhile ruling Liberal Party, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chair Jose Maria Sison, among others as alleged conspirators who are working hand in hand to unseat Duterte.

Even athletes Hidilyn Diaz and Gretchen Ho were named in the diagram deemed by the opposition as just the latest in unfounded conspiracy theories.

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