Veteran rights lawyer Diokno says he will run in 2022 elections

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Veteran rights lawyer Diokno says he will run in 2022 elections
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno ran but lost under the "Otso Diretso" slate in the 2019 midterm elections.
Otso Diretso Faceook release

MANILA, Philippines — Veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno will again vie for a government post in the 2022 elections.

“Yes, to be clear: I will run in 2022,” Diokno said in a tweet on Wednesday, but he said he has yet to decide what position he will run for.

“I never aspired for President or Vice President, which 1Sambayan has nominated me for. But I think it’s important that ordinary Filipinos and the youth have a voice,” he added.

Diokno is one of the six nominees 1Sambayan named for fielding for the top two national government posts. Of the six, Sen. Grace Poe and Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas) already turned down the nominations.

Diokno ran for senator and lost in the 2019 midterm elections, along with seven other candidates fielded by the Liberty Party under the “Otso Diretso” slate.

In announcing his bid, Diokno cited fixing the country’s legal system

“Our justice systems is not gonna get fixed unless people in power see the problem and do something about it. I’ve been a lawyer for three decades, [every day] I work on my Free Legal Helpdesk, and I’ve seen it firsthand. I know how we should fix our justice system,” he added.

Diokno is the founding dean of the De La Salle University College of Law, which highlights human rights and legal aid in its law program.

He sits as the chairperson of the Free Legal Assistance Group that has recently filed a petition before the Supreme Court asking it to declare President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs as unconstitutional.

FLAG also represents opposition lawmakers, Framers of the Constitution, human rights lawyers and journalists in their petition against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. Diokno is one of the oralists in the oral arguments in the case.

Since the pandemic, Diokno launched his Free Legal Assistance Desk through his Facebook page, which currently has nearly 300,000 followers, He said they will be open 24/7, although due to the anticipated surge of questions, it may take up to three working days before they can reply.

RELATED: Beyond questions on lockdown, a dire need for legal assistance and rights education

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