By Genalyn Kabiling
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo will be a “good match” for human rights lawyer Amal Clooney who has joined the legal team of Rappler head Maria Ressa, President Duterte said Thursday.
The President appeared unfazed by Clooney’s involvement in Ressa’s defense camp, saying Panelo, also the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, is capable of dealing with her.
“Kaya naman ni Panelo ‘yan. He’s a good match,” the President said in an interview with reporters at the Palace.
Malacañang had earlier said Clooney was welcome to defend Ressa who faces a string of charges such as tax deficiency and cyber libel. Panelo, however, has offered to “educate” Clooney after she was supposedly “misinformed” about the predicament of the journalist.
“Baka nabola lang niya si Atty. Amal. Misinformed kasi si Atty. Amal [It looks like she deceived Atty. Amal. She is misinformed],” Panelo said during a Palace press conference early this week.
Panelo said he was also “excited to debate” with Clooney who he described as “beautiful and sexy.”
Clooney had earlier announced that she will join the legal team defending Ressa, who is supposedly being persecuted for reporting the news, especially alleged rights abuses. The British-Lebanese lawyer said they would pursue legal remedies to vindicate Ressa’s rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the country.