Chel Diokno

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Jose Manuel Diokno
Chel Diokno at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in February 2019
Chel Diokno at an event honoring the heroes and martyrs of Martial Law at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani on 23 February 2019
Jose Manuel Icasiano Diokno

(1961-02-23) February 23, 1961 (age 58)
OccupationLawyer, Professor
Years active1986 — Present

Jose Manuel "Chel" Icasiano Diokno (Tagalog: [ˈdʒɔknɔ]; born February 23, 1961) is a Filipino lawyer, educator, and advocate. He serves as chairman of the Free Legal Assistance Group and the founding dean of the De La Salle University College of Law. He had served as special counsel of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Diokno was born on February 23, 1961, the eighth of ten children by Senator Jose W. Diokno and his wife Carmen Icasiano.

Diokno earned a degree in Philosophy at University of the Philippines Diliman, and then studied law at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in the United States, where he graduated Juris Doctor of Laws, magna cum laude, in 1986.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Diokno is the son of Filipino nationalist Senator Jose W. "Pepe" Diokno. His sister, Maris Diokno, is a senior administrator in the University of the Philippines system and served as chair of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Diokno's eldest son is the internationally awarded filmmaker Pepe, who was named after his grandfather.


Diokno launched a campaign for a seat in the Senate under Otso Diretso in the 2019 Philippine general election but lost his bid despite earning more than 6 million votes.[3]

Legal career[edit]

Diokno passed the Bar Examination in the State of Illinois and in the Philippines.[4] In his return to the Philippines in 1987, he served as a lawyer and advocate of Human Rights.[5] Diokno is a member of Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG).

Notable Cases[edit]

Government service[edit]

In the 1990s, Diokno served in Commission on Human Rights under Presidents Cory Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. He was also a member of the Committee on Human Rights and Due Process at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).[4]

In 2001, Diokno was the private prosecutor in the impeachment proceedings against then-President Joseph Estrada. The same year, he became General Counsel of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigation) under Sen. Joker Arroyo. In 2004, he was appointed Special Counsel of the Development Bank of the Philippines.[4]

Until 2019, Diokno serves the Presidential Adviser on Human Rights of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and he is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.


In 2006, Diokno set up the Diokno Law Center providing legal training to agencies such as the Comelec, the Public Attorney's Office, the Philippine National Police, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Customs, and the IBP.


Wigberto Tañada, Nene Pimentel, and Chel Diokno at the 2018 Honoring of Martyrs and Heroes at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani on 30 November 2018

Human rights[edit]

He advocated Human rights in his law practice with the Free Legal Assistance Group, as counsel to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to his role as founding Dean of the De La Salle University College of Law.[12]

Position against Martial Law[edit]

As the descendant of former Senator and Martial Law critic Jose W. Diokno, Chel Diokno has taken position against the alleged "historical negationism" and "denialism" regarding the Philippines' Martial Law era under Ferdinand Marcos.[13][14][15]

Authored books[edit]

Diokno has written two books: Diokno On Trial: The Techniques And Ideals Of The Filipino Lawyer (The Complete Guide To Handling A Case In Court), published by the Diokno Law Center in 2007; and Civil And Administrative Suits As Instruments Of Accountability For Human Rights Violations, published by the Asia Foundation in 2010. He has also written news articles on forensic DNA, electronic evidence, anti-terrorism legislation, media law, and judicial reform.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pimentel, Boying (2017-02-26). "Diokno: Fight the fear, sing our own song". The Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2019-03-01.
  2. ^ {{Cite web . There, he received an American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in the Study of Contracts, was a member of the NIU Law Review, and interned at the Office of the State Appellate Defender. | last = | first = | authorlink = | title = DLSU College of Law - Faculty List | work = | publisher = DLSU College of Law | date = 2010-11-05 | url = | doi = | accessdate = 2011-05-15}}
  3. ^ "Election 2019 Result".
  4. ^ a b c d "Atty. Diokno's CV (as of November 2010)". We Support Atty. Chel Diokno for Ombudsman. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "PHILIPPINES: THREATS/FEAR FOR SAFETY: JOSE MANUEL DIOKNO". Amnesty Internatiionao. Archived from the original on 2019-05-10. Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  7. ^ Manahan, Ruben (2009-04-30). "Police arrest Jun Lozada". Manila Times. Manila Times. Archived from the original on 2011-08-11. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  8. ^ Panaligan, Rey (2007-10-26). "Supreme Court, QC RTC issue 1st Writs of Amparo". Manila Bulletin. Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  9. ^ Calleja, Niña Catherine (2008-08-29). "Tagaytay 5 freed; rebellion case 'nonexistent'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  10. ^ Jimenez-David, Rina (2008-01-29). "Who's publicity-hungry?". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 2012-03-26. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  11. ^ "17 of 50 Journalists rounded up from The Pen released". GMA News. 2007-11-29. Archived from the original on 2019-05-25.
  12. ^ Geronimo, Jee (2011-05-13). "Ombudsman search: Diokno is no joke". Newsbreak. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  13. ^ Takumi, Rie (2018-09-24). "Bongbong and Enrile's Martial Law video 'adding insult to injury' —Diokno family". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  14. ^ Gavilan, Jodesz (2018-09-21). "'Distortion of truth': Diokno family slams Bongbong Marcos, Enrile". Rappler. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  15. ^ Galvez, Daphne (2018-09-21). "Diokno family blasts Enrile's 'false' claims on martial law". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2018-10-13.