Rene Saguisag endorses Diokno, the ‘voice of human rights’ in Senate

MANILA, Philippines – Staunch martial law critic and former senator Rene Saguisag vouched for human rights lawyer Chel Diokno in a video posted Wednesday, May 1.

Dapat piliin nating mabuti kung sinong ilalagay sa Senado, isa riyan si Chel Diokno, anak ni Ka Pepe (We should choose carefully who we will put in the Senate, and one of them should be Chel Diokno, son of Ka Pepe), and fruit never falls or rolls far from the tree,” Saguisag said.

Chel is the son of Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, recognized as the father of human rights in the Philippines. Saguisag and the elder Diokno both represented martial law victims during the military rule of Ferdinand Marcos.

Chel now heads the group his father founded, the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). (READ: Chel Diokno on running for senator: 'Fight the fear')

“Sa ngayon nanganganib ang mga human rights advocates, kailangan may tinig sa Senado na standing up strongly for human rights at wala akong agam-agam o duda na si Chel ay isa sa ating maaasahan,” said Saguisag.

(Now that human rights advocates are in danger, we need to have a voice in the Senate who will stand up strongly for human rights and I have no doubt that Chel is one of those we can depend on for that.)


In the latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey, Bam Aquino is the only opposition member who made it to the winning circle. Mar Roxas was bumped off and no other opposition member, besides the two, is close to the coveted rankings.

It fueled fears of a return to the days before Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972. In 1967, two years after Marcos won as president, Ninoy Aquino was the only opposition member to win a Senate seat.

Saguisag said if history repeats itself, democracy would be in peril.

“Importante ‘yung independent opposition kasi kung ang mananalo lamang ay ‘yung tipong pinalundag ni Digong from a high-rise ang itatanong lang, ‘from what floor sir?’ mamamatay ang demokrasya natin,” he said.

(An independent opposition is important because if those who will win are the type of people who, when asked by Digong to jump from a high-rise will only ask, 'from what floor sir?' our democracy will die.)

Saguisag added: “Huwag niyo kalimutan, Otso Diretso, na pinangungunahan sa human rights ni Chel.” (Don't forget Otso Diretso led in human rights by Chel.) –

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.