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Chel Diokno tells Duterte: Focus on people’s needs

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno on Saturday told President Rodrigo Duterte to focus as well on the people’s needs while targeting him for defending his clients.

“Mr. President, may mga kliyente akong tinutulungan na tinitiis na ang sakit at gutom, ngunit wala akong sinabihang manggulo o lumabag ng batas,” Diokno said in Facebook post.

“Okay lang na pag-initan n’yo ako, pero tutukan n’yo rin ang pangangailangan ng mga tao,” he said.

Late Friday, Duterte accused Diokno of black propaganda for defending a man being investigated for alleged “fake news.” 

The President also ridiculed the lawyer, who ran in the opposition slate in last year’s election, for having protruding front teeth.

“Balita ko pinatawag ako sa principal’s office kagabi. Tungkol daw sa ngipin ko?” Diokno said.


The President was referring to Diokno's decision to take on the case of a man being summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation for "publicly post[ing an] article concerning an alleged misuse of government funds.”

The lawyer earlier posted online a photo of the subpoena issued by the NBI to his client, even as he said ordinary citizens airing their sentiments on the government response to the coronavirus crisis are now being targeted by authorities.

Diokno's client particularly posted on social media allegations that the government bought an airplane worth P2 billion instead of using the money for public health care amid the growing threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Apart from his client's, a dozen other subpoenas had been issued by the NBI in an apparent crackdown on misinformation amid the COVID-19 crisis. —Ted Cordero/KG, GMA News