Chel, Neri, Carl, Alan, Gibo Senate hopefuls


HUMAN-RIGHTS Lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Jr., former party-list representative Neri Colmenares, and entrepreneur, educator and media personality Carl Balita were among those who filed their Certificate of Candidacy (COC) on Thursday.

Diokno, who is running for senator under the Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KANP), drew President Duterte’s ire for citing gaps in the government’s response to Covid-19.

In several recent public addresses, Duterte lambasted the lawyer, son of the later former senator Jose W. Diokno, making fun of his prominent front teeth.

In a press conference after filing his COC, Diokno said he does not mind Duterte’s antics and will continue raising important issues in the public forum.

“Whenever I talk about issues in our country, my teeth are being made fun of. It is okay with me since the teeth are insignificant. But we should continue discussing [in public] the big gaps and festering systems [in the society],” Diokno said.

Justice with a bite

If he wins in the next polls, Diokno said he plans to pass laws, which will boost alternative court settlement through arbitration and mediation in the barangay justice system.

“We will strengthen alternative way to settle cases in the courts because we know once it reaches that point, it will take decades [to resolve],” Diokno said. “We must have justice with a bite, and laws with teeth,” he quipped.

Colmenares joins the 2022 Senate race under the Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan (Makabayan).

“While I am running under the Makabayan party, the call of the times makes it clear that a united opposition is needed now. As I said, the survival of the Filipino people is at stake in the coming elections,” Colmenares said.

“A united opposition becomes a necessity if we are to effectively oppose the Marcos and Duterte dynasty,” he added.

Also filing for a Senate seat are Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano who filed his COC as an indepedent candidate.

He served as senator from 2007 to 2017.

Former national defense secretary Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. is running under the People’s Reform Party. He was unable to personally submit his COC after testing positive for Covid-19.

Road map

Educator, entrepreneur, radio broadcaster and BusinessMirror columnist Carl Balita filed his COC under the banner of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s Aksyon Demokratiko.

Balita says he hopes to craft a road map to fast-track the country’s pandemic recovery if he becomes senator. “I have classmates from all over the world and by chance I have seen how they have legislated to pivot towards recovery,” Balita said.

“We should already begin with envisioning what the future should be in the recovery phase. The reason being that it will be inspiring for us to move forward. If we know where we are going. We will know how to get there,” he added.

Image courtesy of Roy Domingo

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