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Chel Diokno on life vest joke: Would Duterte or Arroyo give it away?

/ 07:11 PM February 23, 2019
Otso Diretso supporters at People Power Monument

Otso Diretso supporters gathered at the People Power Monument on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL PABICO LALU / INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights lawyer and senatorial candidate Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno on Saturday shot back at critics of his life vest joke, saying they should also ask President Rodrigo Duterte and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo if they would be willing to give it to someone else on a sinking ship.

During a recent televised debate, Diokno was asked who between the President and the House Speaker would he give a life vest to if they were on a sinking ship. Diokno replied in jest that he would keep it for himself.

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“Baliktarin kaya natin ’yong tanong. Kung na kay PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] kaya ‘yong salbabida, ibibigay niya kaya kay Speaker ‘yon o kaya sa akin?” he told a crowd gathered near the People Power Monument on Edsa on Saturday, two days before the 33rd anniversary of the People Power Revolution.

[Let’s reverse the situation. If the President had the life vest, would he give it to the Speaker or to me?]

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“Kung si GMA [Gloria Macapagal Arroyo] naman ang may hawak ng salbabida, ibigay niya kaya kay PRRD ‘yon o sa akin?” he said in jest.

[And if GMA had the life vest, would he give it to PRRD or to me?]

The senatorial bet was reacting to comments on his answer, including one from Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who said: “I had expected Atty Diokno, an acknowledged human rights lawyer and advocate to value the life of either Pres Duterte or Spkr Arroyo as highly as he values the right to life of a notorious criminal, a drug pusher, or a rapist,” Lacson said in a tweet.

The lawyer admitted, however, that his answer was also wrong.

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“Pero alam po ninyo, mali din po ‘yong sagot ko no’n. Mali ang sagot ko. Sabi ko kasi, sa akin na lang, di ba? Ang totoo, dapat sa inyo ‘yong salbabida dahil kayo po ang magsasalba sa ating bayan,” he said.

[But, you know, my answer was wrong. It was wrong because I said I would keep the life vest for myself, right? The truth is the life vest should be yours because you are the ones who will save our country.]

The other members of the Otso Diretso slate were with Diokno at the People Power monument —namely Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Sen. Bam Aquino, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, and former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada.

Also present to show support for Otso Diretso were former President Benigno Aquino III, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, and musician Noel Cabangon. /atm

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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TAGS: “Otso Diretso”, 2019 elections, 2019 senatorial candidates, Chel Diokno, Jose Manuel Diokno, life vest joke
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