Recto endorses Aquino and Diokno for the Senate

Mara Cepeda

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Recto endorses Aquino and Diokno for the Senate
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto says of Senator Bam Aquino and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, 'I want to work with both of them in the Senate'

MANILA, Philippines – The Rectos of Batangas are adding two more names to the list of Otso Diretso senatorial candidates they are backing: reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto raised the hands of Aquino and Diokno during a press conference held in Lipa City on Monday, May 6, which also happens to be Aquino’s 42nd birthday.

“Silang dalawa, gusto kong makasama sa trabaho doon sa Senado (I want to work with both of them in the Senate),” Recto said of both Aquino and Diokno.

Recto made a glowing recommendation for Aquino, with whom he worked in the Senate to ensure the passage into law of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act

“Naririto ako upang ipahayag, paulit-ulit, iyong ating suporta kay Senator Aquino… Si Bam nakasama ko sa trabaho iyan, at masasabi ko karapat-dapat ibalik sa Senado. Karamihan ng mga panukalang batas ko at panukalang batas niya, pare-pareho,” said Recto, who was also speaking in behalf of his wife, reelectionist Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos Recto.

(I’m here to tell you, again and again, my support for Senator Aquino… I have worked with Bam, and I can say that he is truly worthy to bring back to the Senate. Many of my bills and his bills are the same.) 

The Senate President Pro-Tempore also said he hopes to work with Diokno, citing the latter’s credentials as chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group and founding dean of the De La Salle College of Law. 

“Si Chel naman gusto kong makatrabaho sa Senado dahil alam kong number one, matalino si Chel, may malasakit sa taumbayan lalo pa sa mahihirap, sa ating magsasaka, mangingisda, at manggagawa,” said Recto. 

(I want to work with Chel in the senate because number one, I know that he is smart, and he cares for the people, especially the poor, our farmers, fishermen, and laborers.) 

Diokno, who hails from Taal, Batangas, was previously endorsed by Mayor Pong Mercado and Vice Mayor Jovito Albufera despite the town being allied with the Nacionalista Party (NP).

The Rectos used to be a part of the once-ruling Liberal Party, but they left the party late last year. The Rectos then formed their own local party One Batangas, which has coalesced with NP.

Apart from Diokno and Aquino, the Rectos are also backing the senatorial bids of Otso Diretso bets Romy MacalintalMar Roxas, and Erin Tañada, as well as the reelection bids of Senators Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, Koko Pimentel, and Cynthia Villar, the wife of NP president and former senator Manny Villar. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.