How being tagged in ‘Oust Duterte’ plot made Hidilyn Diaz stronger, more forgiving

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2021 09:22 AM | Updated as of Jul 29 2021 10:58 AM

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MANILA—Olympian Hidilyn Diaz on Thursday talked about how she has forgiven Malacañang for tagging her in a supposed plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte and how that event fueled her goal of fighting for the country on the international stage.

Diaz was mentioned in a 2019 matrix of personalities involved in a move to remove Duterte from office, but the athlete rejected this, saying she was too busy preparing for the 2020 Olympics.

When she finally won an Olympic gold medal, the first by the Philippines since it started fielding athletes to the quadrennial sports festival, Diaz said she knew she had to forgive.

"Sa totoo lang, after winning the gold medal, nu’ng time na ’yun, sabi ko I have to forgive all the people na binash ako, na may life threat ako. ’Yun ’yung down moment ko, pero na-realize ko na ’yun din ang nagpalakas sa akin as an athlete. Mas lalo akong naging determinado, mas lalo kong minahal ang Pilipinas," she told ANC's "Headstart."

"So thankful din ako sa kanila kasi kung wala akong ganu’n na trials, baka hindi ako maging gold medalist." 

(In truth, after winning the gold medal, at that time, I said I have to forgive the people who bashed me, those who threatened my life. That was a down moment for me, but I realized that it also strengthened me as an athlete. I became more determined, I loved the Philippines much more. So I am thankful to them because without those trials, maybe I wouldn't have become a gold medalist.)

The 30-year-old champion said she no longer needs an apology from the chief executive's office or his former spokesman, Salvador Panelo, who revealed the matrix to the media.

"For me now, hindi na. Para sa akin, OK lang kasi at the end of the day, mas kailangan ko ’yung peace of mind ko. As long as nag-move forward ako at nagawa ko nang maayos at na-serve at na-represent ko ang Pilipinas, masaya ako," she said.

"Hindi ko kailangan ’yung sinasabi ng iba kasi alam ko ang totoo. Para sa akin, ’yun ang importante at may peace of mind ako."

(For me now, not anymore. For me, it's OK, because at the end of the day, I need my peace of mind more. As long as I've moved forward and I did my best, and I served and represented the Philippines, I am happy. I don't need what other people are saying because I know the truth. For me, that and my peace of mind are important.)

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