Senatorial candidate and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno on Monday, November 8, lauded presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo’s “Kalayaan sa COVID (Freedom from COVID)” plan for its “clear platform” that will help the country recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“She stands on solid ground: five years of experience, helping Filipinos and communities in need, with few resources at hand, and enormous good will and thoughtful planning,” he said in a remark posted on Facebook as he shared the live stream video of Robredo’s press conference.
“VP Leni speaks clearly and simply, offering us a way out of the pain and damage caused by the pandemic and the present administration’s poor response to it,” Diokno added.
The “Kalayaan sa COVID” is a 10-point agenda that tackles various areas—the appointment of a new Health secretary, better wages for medical frontliners, the full implementation of the Universal Healthcare Act, capacitating hospitals, an unemployment insurance program, and the stimulus package for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), among others.
“Every step she proposes gives us hope that together, we can—we will—create a just and caring society,” Diokno, who is a newly minted member of the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KANP), said.
The human rights lawyer will be running under Robredo’s ticket along with other seasoned and even controversial political figures.
Diokno first tried to run as a senator in the 2019 midterm elections, but he failed to get a spot in the Magic 12 that was dominated by allies of President Duterte.
He has since then made headway in winning over the youth sector, who calls him the “Woke Lolo (woke grandfather).” Often, he was on the receiving end of the President’s jokes, which mainly centers on his appearance owing to his large teeth.
Diokno embraced the ridicule and called himself “Ngipin ng Batas (teeth of the law).”
Aside from being a human rights lawyer, he was also the dean of the College of Law at the De La Salle University in Manila. He is the son of the late Senator Jose W. Diokno, the founder of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) in 1974. For the past years he has joined lawyers who provide free legal aid to victims of abuse and indigent Filipinos who could not afford to avail themselves of legal services.