Diokno camp ‘manipulated’ fishermen on writ of kalikasan plea - Panelo

Diokno camp ‘manipulated’ fishermen on writ of kalikasan plea - Panelo

Otso Diretso senatorial candidate, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno faced another embarrassing ‘defeat.’
Diokno, earlier accused the government of unethical tactics on fishermen cited in a writ of kalikasan petition filed with the Supreme Court.
Presidential legal counsel and concurrent Presidential spokesperson Atty. Salvador Panelo said Diokno and his were the ones who “influenced or manipulated” the fishermen from Palawan and Zambales who supposedly filed the petition to compel the government to protect resources in the West Philippine Sea.

Human Rights lawyer Chel Diokno (photo credit to owner)

Diokno and lawyer Andrew Palacios , both representing the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), filed the writ of kalikasan on behalf of the fishermen.
The writ of kalikasan was filed asking the SC to issue a special order for environmental protection of three Philippine reefs in the West Philippine Sea, including waters within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
IBP claims that the writ is needed because the marine environment in and around these territories has been destroyed by China’s massive reclamation and poaching activities.

Earlier this week, Solicitor General Jose Calida made the announcement that 19 of the fishermen have “disowned” the petition and are backing out of the case.
Diokno, believes the government did clandestine talks with the fishermen and has succeeded in making them agree in the withdrawal of the case. Diokno accuses this move of the government as unethical as per the Code of Legal Ethics for lawyers.

Panelo slams Diokno

Panelo believe Dioko should be the one who should answer his own allegation.
“He should ask himself in the mirror because that question applies to him. Because if we are to believe the accusations of the fishermen, it’s them [Diokno’s camp] that influenced or manipulated them [fishermen],” Panelo said in a Palace presscon.

“I understand, the very reason why the fishermen went to them is [that] their house is being demolished and they have a problem, not in regard to that and then they were asked to sign documents ‘yun pala petition na (It turned out what they signed was a petition). ‘Yun ang istorya ng mga (That’s the story of the) fishermen,” he added.


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