Despite being a newbie in politics, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno is honored to be included in Vice President Leni Robredo’s opposition ticket for the May 2022 polls.
If anything, Diokno says Robredo is showing that she is prioritizing the strengthening of the country’s laws.
“It’s an honor na maging bahagi ng (to be a part of the) Senate slate ni (of) VP Leni Robredo at (and) Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. This is a clear sign na sa pamumuno nila, kabilang sa priority ang trabaho nating lagyan ng ngipin ang batas (under their leadership, they will prioritize putting teeth in our laws),” the former dean of the De La Salle University’s College of Law said in a statement.
Diokno is dubbed the “ngipin ng batas (teeth of the law)” after President Duterte made fun of his large teeth. The lawyer has since embraced that insult and used it to his advantage.
When he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator, he wore a face mask with a caricature of his large teeth printed on the front.
His statement came after Robredo formally announced his inclusion in her senatorial slate, which has since become controversial among her supporters because of the endorsement of some names previously involved in corruption.
But Diokno did not touch on these issues, and instead thanked Robredo on behalf of his party, the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP), for taking him in.
“Nakakabuhay ng loob makita yung pagkakaisa sa Senate slate na ito—at handang-handa na kami magtulungan at lumaban para sa matino, mahusay, at makatarungang pamumuno (It is energizing to see the unity of this Senate slate—and we are ready to help achieve and fight for an effective, honest, and just governance),” he said.
The Vice President was all praises for Diokno, who she described as the “Woke Lolo (grandfather)” and founder of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) who gave hope to the youth.
“Napakahusay na abugado, masipag, at kampeon ng katarungan at karapatang pantao (A good lawyer, hardworking, and champion of justice and human rights),” she said of Diokno.
Aside from Diokno, Robredo named former Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr., Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero, lawyer and author Alex Lacson, and re-electionists Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, Richard Gordon, Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Joel Villanueva as part of her slate.