MANILA (UPDATE) - An Olympian and a television host were among new personalities Malacañang linked Thursday to an alleged conspiracy to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte.
Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and morning show host Gretchen Ho were linked to webmaster Rodel Jayme, who is accused of spreading the controversial “Ang Totoong Narco-list” videos.
Their names appeared in a presentation shown by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo to Palace reporters on personalities that supposedly have "online collaboration" with Jayme.
Sought for comment, Diaz said she doesn't know Jayme and laughed off the issue.
"Sino si Rodel Jayme? Hahaha di ko po kilala. Lol nakakatawa naman," she told ABS-CBN News in a message Wednesday.
(Who is Rodel Jayme? I don't know him. That's funny.)
In a tweet, the athlete added: "Dami ko pang goals sa life and Pinas para sumali sa ganyan bagay. Nashock lang ako nalink ako sa ganyan."
(I have many goals in life and for the country to join such things. I'm shocked that I was linked.)
Ho, in a tweet, said she also doesn't know Jayme. She also denied knowledge of the viral videos.
"Regarding being included in the “matrix”, I don’t even know who Bikoy is, I have never watched the videos nor shared them, and I have no idea who Rodel Jayme is," she said.
Just the night before, Ho was present at a dinner the President hosted in Malacañang.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday lodged inciting to sedition raps against Jayme, owner of website MetroBalita.net, which shared videos linking the Duterte family to narcotics.
The "Totoong Narco-list" videos, which featured a hooded figure called "Bikoy," claimed drug money was funneled into the bank accounts of Duterte's son former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, his son-in-law Manases Carpio, and former aide Christopher Go.
Bikoy, in the videos also claimed that he used to keep financial records for the drug syndicate that allegedly had dealings with the Duterte family.
Jayme, who was arrested last week, said he made the MetroBalita website for Liberal Party supporters, but said he did not know anything about the videos. The opposition party has denied hiring him.
On Tuesday, one Peter Joemel Advincula surfaced and claimed he was "Bikoy" as he sought legal aid and denied links to the liberal party.
Police said he was an information peddler whose tips have even led to botched operations.