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Veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno to vie for Senate spot in 2022

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com
Veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno to vie for Senate spot in 2022
File photo shows Lawyer Chel Diokno, the founding dean of De La Salle University’s College of Law.
The STAR / Joey Viduya

MANILA, Philippines — Veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno will run for senator again in 2022, pinning his hopes on a "changed" political landscape that may work in his favor this time around. 

“Yes, I have decided that I will be running for the Senate," Diokno told One News' "The Chiefs" on Tuesday. 

Confirming his renewed bid on social media Wednesday, Diokno also said in Filipino: "There are so many things that are not fair here [in our country] — in the law [and] the COVID-19 response." 

"Gawin nating mas makatarungan ang buhay ng mga Pilipino (Let's make the lives of Filipinos more just)." 

Diokno was part of Otso Diretso, a coalition of opposition bets that was soundly defeated by administration candidates in the 2019 midterm elections. But Diokno believes that "a lot has changed" since then. 

"I learned a lot from the mid-year election," he told One News in Filipino. "I've had two years to think about it and to plan... a better [campaign]."

"The political landscape has changed," he added. "We have seen how important it is to have a good message and to really take advantage of the social media platforms out there." 

Diokno said that he is "at this point, determined to remain an independent" but noted that he is open to this changing in order to increase the opposition's chances of performing well in 2022. 

He also reiterated his support for opposition coalition 1Sambayan which earlier named him as one of its candidates for the country's two highest posts.

"I think [the] opposition will have a bigger chance if we all come together and we can all unite behind a common slate”

Diokno's platform: Justice and the COVID-19 response 

Diokno said he would continue to carry his justice platform from 2019 but added that "more immediate matters" related to the pandemic must be addressed by the government. 

These are: 

  • Delivery of health services to Filipinos 
  • Small to medium enterprises badly-hit by the pandemic and, according to Diokno, neglected by the Duterte administration 
  • Children's denied right to education due to the pandemic and the slow-paced vaccination program 

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 also sits as the chairperson of the Free Legal Assistance Group which represents opposition lawmakers, Framers of the Constitution, human rights lawyers and journalists in their petition against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. Diokno was one of the oralists in the oral arguments in the case.

Amid the pandemic, Diokno launched his Free Legal Assistance Desk through his Facebook page, which now has over 375,000 followers. — with a report from Kristine Joy Patag 

2022 ELECTIONS CHEL DIOKNO HUMAN RIGHTS SENATE
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