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Chel Diokno admits lots of work needed to break into ‘Magic 12’

MANILA, Philippines — Human rights lawyer and senatorial aspirant Chel Diokno on Monday admitted that he has a long way to go before he can break into the so-called ‘Magic 12’ in the senatorial race.

However, he said the continued improvement of his rank in the polls is a sign that Filipinos are yearning for justice.

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“Mahaba pa ang laban na ito at malaki pa ang kailangan nating lundagin para magkaroon naman sa Senado ng Boses ng Katarungan,” Diokno said in a message to reporters on Monday.

(This is going to be a long fight. We need to jump through more hoops to bring the voice of justice to the Senate.)

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Still, he noted that his current standing on the 22nd to the 27th spot in the most recent Pulse Asia survey is already a significant improvement, compared to his ranking last year before the start of the election season.

“Napakalaking pagbabago nitong posisyon natin sa survey kumpara noong isang taon. Para sa tulad kong wala namang pera, makinarya, o political dynasty, malaking bagay po ito,” Diokno explained.

(This is already a considerable improvement from our position last year. For candidates like me who are not backed by funds, machinery or political dynasty, this is a big deal.)

Diokno said he believes most Filipinos want justice.  “Gusto nila, patas ang batas para sa lahat. Gusto nila, pag may sala, may parusa, mayaman man o mahirap (They want the law to be fair. They want justice for everyone — rich or poor),” he added.

The June 2018 Pulse Asia survey ranked Diokno, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate, on the 40th spot (35th to 48th). In January 2019, he moved up to 27th place (24th to 31st spot) before jumping up again three spots in the most recent survey.

“Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng patuloy na sumusuporta, sa mga napakasipag nating volunteers, at pati na sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan na sa kanilang sariling paraan ay ipinakikilala tayo at ang isyu nating dala sa kanilang mga kaibigan at pamilya,” Diokno said.

(Thank you for continuing to support me — our hardworking volunteers and even the ordinary citizens, who, in their own way introduce us and the issues that we support to their families and friends.)

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Pulse Asia released the results of the survey on Monday, showing that independent reelectionist Senator Grace Poe is still leading the Senate race, followed by several administration-backed candidates.

In the Otso Diretso slate, only former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas made it to the “Magic 12.” He was ranked 9th (8th to 12th spot) while Senator Bam Aquino landed on the 13th place (13th to 17th spot.)

Diokno is the Otso Diretso candidate nearest in rank to Roxas and Aquino in the poll.

The other oppoi=sition candidates include lawyer Romulo Macalintal (26th); former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada (27th); Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc (28th); Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano (32nd); and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay (41st).

Still, the senatorial candidate insists that it is a huge improvement for some of them, especially for Gutoc, who was previously ranked 36th in the survey, and Macalintal who was on the 28th place. /ee

READ: Poe still leads senatorial survey as admin bets dominate ‘Magic 12’

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