Country’s top legal minds endorse Chel Diokno’s candidacy
MANILA, Philippines — Several of the country’s top legal minds have thrown their support behind senatorial candidate Chel Diokno, who has been advocating to uphold human rights during the whole campaign.
In a press conference on Thursday, former Supreme Court Justices Roberto Abad and Antonio Eduardo Nachura, former Ombudswoman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo, Far Eastern University Insitute of Law Dean Melencio Sta. Maria, and Lyceum of the Philippine College of Law Dean Soledad Mawis showed their support for Diokno.
“Una, sa Ingles, his passion for justice. Naipaliwanag niya ngayon ang kaniyang plataporma base sa katarungan, sa hustisya. Pangalawa, his passion for quality legal education, which we both share,” Nachura told reporters in San Juan.
Mawis on the other hand cited Diokno’s record as a human-rights lawyer who worked pro bono, or without any pay, for poor clients.
“Siya po ay abogadong may puso. May puso ho siya para sa mahirap, may puso ho siya sa naapi. At nakita ko po yan, kasi minsan nagkaroon po kami ng isang collaboration sa isang kaso ko,” she said.
According to Abad and Marcelo, Diokno’s qualities as a lawyer may be attributed to being raised by his father, human-rights champion and former Senator Jose W. Diokno.
“He is a brilliant man. And I appreciate that Chel got those qualities because I know, he worked with me at the Supreme Court, invited him to help us with the revision of the rules of Civil Procedure. And he did a fine work in his assignment,” Abad said.
“Kung gano po katapang, gano ka-prinsipyo, yung integridad ng kanyang ama, ganoon din po si Chel. Mayroon siyang integrity, may prinsipyong tao, at matapang na pinaglalaban po niya, he’s really a champion of human rights,” Marcelo added.
Diokno, who is part of the Otso Diretso slate, has previously said that he left the profession because the fight against injustice needs to take on another stage. In September 2018, he announced his candidacy based on the premise that the courts and the country’s laws have been compromised.
Sta. Maria said that Diokno’s possible election to the Senate will help in maintaining its independence.
Diokno thanked the people who backed his Senate bid, adding that it might be time for justice-related issues to be highlighted in an election.
“Palagay ko panahon na ngayon na talagang maging bahagi ng ating agenda nasyonal itong isyu ng hustisya. Kasi matagal nang napapabayaan ito eh. We need to have a justice system that works. Kasi kung wala naman tayong sistema ng hustisya na gumagana, baliwala ang mga magagandang batas natin. Baliwala ang ating mga karapatan,” he said.
“With the support of the legal community, I really do believe that we will be able to make real changes that will help the people. Matagal na pong hinahanap ng ating taumbayan ang hustisya,” he added. /jpv
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