Philippines: human rights lawyer publicly accused by Duterte of 'black propaganda' amid the Government efforts to tackle Covid-19Event
- Initial Date
- Apr 3, 2020
- Event Description
President Rodrigo Duterte has slammed human rights lawyer Jose Manuel �Chel� Diokno and members of the opposition for supposedly resorting to �black propaganda� as the government grapples with solutions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic in the country.
In his public address on Friday night, Duterte said Diokno and his colleagues in the opposition were pouncing on the Covid-19 crisis to gain political advantage for the 2022 elections.
�Itong si Chel Diokno sinabi pa niya sige ako mag-depensa sa inyo. Alam mo Chel Diokno, kayong opposition dilaw, huwag niyo pilitin ang pagkatao niyo sa gobyerno (This Chel Diokno, he even stated to defend these people. You know what, Chel Diokno, you in the yellow opposition, do not insist in putting yourselves in government),� Duterte said.
�Kayo nag-sige tagatakbo ng black propaganda kasi malapit na eleksyon, sabihin ko ngayon sa mga taong Pilipino, kung iyan ang ipalit niyo sa sunod na eleksyon, torpe talaga ang Pilipino (All of you who are pursuing black propaganda because election is coming, I will tell the Filipino people now, if you are going to choose them to replace the people in government in the coming elections, then Filipinos are really sheepish),� he added.
Duterte even ridiculed Diokno�s appearance, saying that the former opposition senatorial candidate was buck-toothed and talks like a janitor.
He also said Diokno was among �lousy lawyers� who are allegedly encouraging people to defy the law.
�Kung magsalita ka para kang, wag lang mainsulto kayong mga janitor�ito si Diokno magsalita parang janitor (If you talk you are like, I hope janitors would not get insulted�Diokno is talking like a janitor),� Duterte said.
�Alam mo kung bakit hindi ka nanalo? Kasi kalaki ng ngipin mo. Magsalita kalahati ng panga mo lumalabas (You know why you didn�t win in the last elections? Because you have big teeth. The way you talk, half of your jaw is showing),� he added.
Diokno, chair of the Free Legal Assistance Group, on Thursday, revealed that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has summoned social media users who expressed sentiments on the government�s response to the pandemic.
He said NBI�s actions would bring a chilling effect since his client, who was summoned to explain, did not post misinformation but �fair commentary on matters of public interest.�
On his official social media accounts, Diokno has also called for mass testing for the novel coronavirus and cautioned the public on the use of the P275-billion government budget to fight the crisis.
In a radio interview on Saturday, Diokno said �now is not the time to go after anybody� as the country was still in the middle of the public health crisis.
�Sanay naman tayo sa ganyan na mga salita ng Pangulo, pero sana �di mawala ang pokus niya doon sa mga problema ng bayan, yung mga pangangailangan ng ating kapatid (I�m used to the disparaging remarks made by the President, but hopefully he won�t lose focus on the country�s problem, the needs of our countrymen),� Diokno said in an interview with dzMM radio.
�Now is not the time to go after anybody, but rather we all work together to address this problem,� he added.
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- Intimidation and Threats
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- Pro-democracy defender
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- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 3 April 2020, Jose Manuel Diokno, human rights lawyer, was publicly accused by President Duterte of 'black propaganda' for asking mass-testing for Covid-19 in Manila, the Philippines.