ICYDK, Chel Diokno's Dad Is the Father of Human Rights in the PH

He was dedicated to the fight for freedom and human rights.
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Sep 21, 2020
Image: Diokno.ph
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Aside from his Chel Tayo! Facebook Live series that has gotten traction among netizens, Atty. Chel Diokno is known as a human rights lawyer who also founded the De La Salle University College of Law. Currently, he also serves as the chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group, an organization for human rights lawyers in the country. 

You could say that it's something he, in a way, inherited from his father, former senator Jose "Pepe" Diokno. Jose Diokno is one of the only two topnotchers of the bar exams that did not own a law degree. He also topped the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) in 1940.

Under martial law

During martial law under Ferdinand Marcos, Diokno was also famously known as one of the principal detractors of the then-president's dictatorship. Because of this, he was detained for two years and without any formal charges at Camp Crame, Fort Bonifacio and spent solitary confinement at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija for a month.


Upon his release in 1974, Diokno established the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) together with Lorenzo M. Tañada, Sr. and Joker P. Arroyo. He took on cases and helped defend activists, social workers, political detainees, and tribal groups.

After the EDSA Revolution

After the events of the People Power Revolution, then-President Corazon Aquino signed Executive Order No. 8, s. 1986 which created the Presidential Committee on Human Rights and appointed Diokno as the Chairman. The primary goal of the committee was to investigate "unexplained or forced disappearances, extra-judicial killings (salvaging), massacres, torture, hamletting, food blockades, and other violations of human rights."

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The committee was "abolished" and replaced by the Commission on Human Rights after the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. Since then, Diokno had been recognized as the Father of Human Rights in the Philippines for his dedication to the fight for freedom and human rights.

Source: diokno.ph/jwd


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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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