Chel Diokno named chair of Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation
MANILA, Philippines — Human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno has been elected as the new chairperson of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation Inc., a group that advocates freedom, justice and democracy, and gives honor to the heroes of the martial law years.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the foundation announced that Diokno was chosen during their annual general membership meeting conducted online last Sunday, August 21.
The meeting aimed at strengthening the members’ resolve in “keeping alive the memory of those who contributed to the struggle for freedom, justice and democracy during the Marcos regime of terror and repression, and in staying vigilant to help prevent the recurrence of repressive regimes in the country.”
Diokno is the current chair of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), which was founded by his father, the late human rights lawyer-turned-senator Jose “Ka Pepe” W. Diokno, himself the founding chair of the Commission on Human Rights, and who would later be named the “Father of Human Rights Advocacy” for his efforts against repression during the martial law years.
The younger Diokno is also the founding dean of the De La Salle University College of Law.
Aside from Diokno, other members of the Bantayog Executive Committee were also named, including Edicio dela Torre as Vice Chairperson, Ma. Corazon Jopson-Plopinio as Board Secretary, and Solomon Yuyitung as Board Treasurer.
A new set of board members was similarly selected during the meeting, including Robert Alonto, Ma. Cristina Bawagan, Minerva Gonzales, Ester Isberto, Leilani Mallorca, former Regional Trial Court judge Mienrado Paredes, Rafael Paredes, Dr. Juan Perez III, Karl Ramirez, Atty. Liwayway Arce-Rodriguez, and retired professor Roland Simbulan.
The foundation’s Executive Director Ma. Cristina Rodriguez was also re-elected as board member.
Moreover, the foundation created a new advisory board with its outgoing trustees — former Senator Wigberto Tañada, lawyer and GMA Network chief executive officer and chairman Felipe Gozon, Carolina Malay, Jose de Jesus, and Edith Burgos — among those nominated as its members. — Christian Paul Dela Cruz, Inquirer.net trainee