Diokno announces plans to run in 2022 polls

Published June 16, 2021, 2:52 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) chairman and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno will run again in the 2022 elections but he did not confirm which elective post he will seek.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno (Albert Garcia/Manila Bulletin)

Diokno, 60, made the announcement in a tweet on Wednesday, June 16, a few days after opposition coalition 1Sambayan nominated him as president or vice president on Independence Day.

“Yes, to be clear: I will run in 2022. It’s difficult now to make a final decision about what position, and I never aspired for President or VP, which 1Sambayan has nominated me for. But I think it’s important that ordinary Filipinos and the youth have a voice,” he said in a Twitter post.

He first tried to enter politics when he ran as senator as part of the Liberal Party’s (LP) Otso Diretso slate during the midterm elections in 2019. He failed to enter the Magic 12, ranking only 21st in the total votes tallied.

After 1Sambayan released the list of their nominees, Diokno said although he was “very honored by the nomination,” he never aspired for those positions.

READ: Robredo, 5 others in 1SAMBAYAN list for president, VP in 2022

The rights lawyer noted he is focused on his program, the Free Legal Helpdesk. “I hope to serve our country in any way I can, especially the youth and the ordinary Filipino, who are crying out for justice, accountability, and relief from the pandemic,” he said.

After three decades as a lawyer, Diokno said he will run on the platform of fixing the country’s justice system.

He echoed the same things during a recent interview on ANC, adding that “the young people of our country, they are crying out for justice, they are crying out for accountability.”

Diokno called on the youth to register to vote in the 2022 polls.

“They want to have a future and as I’ve told them in many different forums, 2022 is going to be their future. They must make a choice come May 2022,” he stressed.

A former dean of the De La Salle University College of Law, Diokno believes that “there is so much at stake in the upcoming elections.”

“What is at stake in the upcoming election is how we will manage the pandemic. What’s at stake in the upcoming elections is are we going to continue with the attacks on our democratic institutions? Are we going to push for more justice for ordinary persons? To me, these are the issues…they are so important,” he said.