MANILA—TV host and former volleyball star Gretchen Ho said she was at a loss seeing her name included in a diagram — or so-called matrix — of personalities whom Malacañang is accusing of taking part in a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Speaking on DZMM on Wednesday, Ho said she was surprised by news of her name being mentioned in the supposed online conspiracy, as presented by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
“Natatawa na lang ako doon sa accusation, kasi parang hindi naman ata siniseryoso. Kasi wala naman silang basehan. Bakit ko papatulan ’yon?” she said, when asked if she was planning to take legal steps.
“Hindi ko rin maintindihan. Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggagaling. Hindi naman ganu’n kakapal ang mukha ko na kamayan ang presidente tapos meron na pala akong plano to destabilize.”
Ho stressed she was also clueless about the controversial “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos, which is central to the supposed conspiracy to discredit Duterte.
“Hindi ko nga napapanood ’yung video at wala akong na-share. Puwede niyo tingnan sa history ng lahat ng social media pages ko, wala at all na Bikoy,” she said, referring to the figure seen in the videos.
“Nagtataka ako — ano’ng basis nila?”
Ho pointed out that as a media practitioner, she is mainly involved in lifestyle and sports, and thus hasn’t produced any report or feature that could be deemed “destabilizing,” or critical of the administration.
“Never ako naging political. Ang pinaka naaalala ko lang na would be near that, ’yung nag-post ako ina-attack ko ’yung mga troll,” she said, referring to a past tweet seen by her nearly 800,000 followers.
“Sinasabi ko sa mga follower ko na dapat maging matalino tayo online, huwag tayo magpaloko sa mga troll. Sinabi ko doon, ‘How can we reason with trolls and eggheads?’ Ang ibig kong sabihin sa eggheads, ’yung mga anonymous account on Twitter,” she explained.
Ho also brought up the fact that she was among the guests invited by the Palace to a dinner hosted by the President and his partner, Honeylet Avancena.
“That’s the reason why I accepted the invitation yesterday to Malacañang, because I wanted to show them na hindi ako yellow, hindi rin ako red. Gusto ko lang din ipakita ’yung neutrality, dahil bilang isang media practitioner, ang laging sabi sa akin, ‘Our duty is to always open communication lines and not to close doors.’ It’s my way of opening my mind,” she said.
However, Ho disputed the Palace’s description of the dinner as a “thanksgiving for artists who support the President.”
“Hindi ako nasabihan na supporters ang kasama, kasi kung ganu’n po, di delikado naman tayo doon,” Ho said. “Bilang part tayo ng election coverage din, hindi ako puwede pumanig kahit kanino. Wala po akong ini-endorse.”
“Bilang isang voter, bilang isang kabataan, gusto ko rin marinig lahat ng sides, kasi duty ko ’yun. Bago ako bumoto sa halalan, kailangan ko malaman lahat ng anggulo,” she said.