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De Kampanilya v De Kuliling: Panelo’s FB whistleblower is anything but ‘non-existent’

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Incoming Palace Spokesman, defense lawyer Salvador Panelo clearly didn’t know what he was talking about when he referred to his Facebook accuser Clarisse Evangelista as a “non-existent” person.

In fact, a Politiko source revealed Tuesday (June 14) that Evangelista is also a lawyer like Panelo. Only, she is of a way “better” pedrigee.

“Clarisse Evangelista is not a non-existent person,” the source said, a direct reference to Panelo’s denial post on Facebook wherein he questioned the validity of the woman’s user account.

“She is a lawyer, ex-Romulo Mabanta [Buenaventura Sayoc & De Los Angeles law office partner], in fact… And her husband is an Ortigas company lawyer!” it noted.

At over 100 years old, Romulo is one of the country’s premier law firms. It is the sole Philippine member of Lex Mundi, a global network of about 160 independent law firms, with a combined total of more than 21,000 lawyers in all commercially significant jurisdictions throughout the world.

The source even cheekily described the difference between the two lawyers as follows: “De Kampanilya compared to Panelo’s kuliling.”

As such, the source insisted that Evangelista “knows what she speaks of” when she took to Facebook to rant about Panelo’s allegedly rude behavior at Greenhills Shopping Center over the weekend.

In his denial of the incident, Panelo wrote: “A certain Clarisse Evangelista, obviously a non-existent person as there is nothing in her account that suggests that she exists I.e. no photo, no personal circumstances, no information on her identity, posted in facebook an alleged incident that portrayed me as violating a no parking regulation in Greenhills Commercial Center and showing no remorse.”

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s handpicked Palace mouthpiece, Panelo has often been described as “eccentric” and an “outsider” among the new Cabinet officials.

The lawyer has defended high-profile suspects in big criminal cases in the past, including the Ampatuans in the 2009 Maguindanao Massacre case and Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez in the 1995 double murder of University of the Philippines-Los Baños students Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez.