Diokno throws hat in opposition’s unity slate

Published September 15, 2021, 6:17 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno has high hopes that opposition coalition 1Sambayan will come up with a unified slate for the 2022 polls.

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

Although failing to win in the 2019 senatorial elections, landing only the 21st spot, the son of late democracy icon Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno earned the youth’s favor. They call him the “Woke Lolo.”

“I support fully the initiative of 1Sambayan to come up with a unity slate. I do hope that will happen because, sa tingin ko, lalaki talaga ang tiyansa ng (I think, there will be a bigger chance for the) opposition ‘pag magsama-sama lahat (if everyone gets together) and we can all unite behind a common slate,” he said during an interview on the Chiefs.

Diokno earlier announced his intention to run for senator and on Wednesday, Sept. 15, he confirmed that he will be running as an independent “for now.”

“I have not joined or allied or affiliated with any particular political party,” he said, although 1Sambayan will most likely include the human rights lawyer and chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), in its senatorial slate.

READ: Diokno announces plans to run in 2022 polls

The lawyer, who is also the founding dean of the De La Salle University’s College of Law, was earlier nominated by the opposition coalition for either president or vice president but Diokno declined running for the country’s top two positions.

On Twitter, he reiterated his plan to join the May 2022 polls as a senatorial candidate, saying that there are many things he wants to address in the country.

“Yes, tatakbo ulit ako sa Senado. Napakaraming bagay ang hindi patas dito sa atin—sa batas, sa ekonomiya, sa mga patakaran sa COVID. Gawin nating mas makatarungan ang buhay ng mga Pilipino (Yes, I will run again for the Senate. There are many things that are not fair here—in the law, in the economy, in the policies for COVID. Let us make fairer the lives of Filipinos),” he wrote.

Diokno has been critical of some of President Duterte’s policies, including the controversial Anti-Terror Law, which he opposed and argued against before the Supreme Court magistrates.

He earned the Chief Executive’s ire with Duterte even making fun of his appearance because of his “big teeth.”

READ: Duterte accuses Diokno of black propaganda, derides his appearance

Today, the lawyer is active on social media platforms TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers.