Senatorial aspirant and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno on Tuesday, Dec. 7, visited the Aeta community in Pampanga and conveyed his hopes to represent their needs and improve their living conditions if he gets into the Senate’s Magic 12 in the 2022 elections.
The former dean of the College of Law of the De La Salle University in Manila said he visited Villamaria, Porac, Pampanga to spend time with the Aeta community there and hold a dialogue with them.
“Sa aking ilang dekadang paglilingkod bilang abogado ng mga dehado, ramdam ko ang kanilang mga hinaing (In my decades of service as a lawyer to the oppressed, I can feel their grievances),” Diokno said in a Facebook post.
He lamented that many of their needs such as water system and farms-to-market roads are not being addressed properly.
“Dala ko sa aking puso ang pag-asa para sa mas makatarungang pamumuhay para sa bawat isa (I bring in my heart the hope for a more decent life for everyone),” Diokno added.
In the post, the lawyer included selfies taken with some Aeta children, as well as snapshots of him holding consultations with them.
The human rights lawyer is a member of the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino, but is running under the ticket of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
He is the founder of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) which provides free legal help to those in need.
He first ran in the 2019 midterm polls under the Liberal Party’s Otso Diretso, but failed to get into the Magic 12, having only placed in the 21st spot.
Diokno is popular among the youth, who calls him the “Woke Lolo (grandfather).”