Human rights lawyer and senatorial aspirant Chel Diokno on Monday, October 18, pressed the need for the government to prepare all the safeguards in a bid to combat hunger for Filipinos affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Diokno, who is running for senator under Vice President Leni Robredo’s slate, sought government’s intention after the advocacy group IBON Foundation mentioned in its report that many Filipinos are still suffering from hunger due to lack of available jobs.
“Nasa ikalawang taon na tayo ng pandemya, sana naman natuto na ang ating gobyerno. Dapat nakahanda na ang safeguards at interventions ng gobyerno sa pagbibigay ng tulong sa maraming Pilipino upang hindi na sila muling makaranas pa ng gutom (While we are already on the second year of the pandemic, I hope the government has learned. The safeguards and interventions of the government must be ready in providing help to many Filipinos so they won’t experience hunger again),” he said in a statement.
Diokno is the senatorial bet of the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KANP) Party for the 2022 elections.
His candidacy was also endorsed by socialist presidential aspirant and labor leader Leody De Guzman.
The human rights lawyer lamented the “injustice” being experienced by citizens due to the lockdown system. He noted this has prevented them from working for the needs of their families and without enough government assistance.
“Napakalaking injustice ang sinapit ng marami nating mga kababayan ngayong pandemya. Mahabang panahong inilagay sa lockdown, na hindi rin ginamit para paigtingin ang testing at tracing, kaya nawalan ng kakayahang maghanap-buhay at kumita para sa kanilang mga pamilya (Our countrymen have suffered a huge injustice in this time of pandemic. They have spent a long time in lockdown, which is not also used to intensify testing and tracing, so they were not able work and earn for their families),” said Diokno.
“Wala na ngang kita, hindi rin sapat ang ibinigay na ayuda kaya gutom ang inabot ng mga pamilya (They don’t have income, the aid being given to them is not that’s why their families have suffered hunger),” he added.
Diokno is the head of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), which provides free legal aid to victims of abuse and poor Filipinos. He opened a free legal help desk during the pandemic to address the legal concerns of poor Filipinos.