As the saying goes, the best defense is offense.
After getting bashed on social media for dragging the names of fishermen in a case they aren’t aware of, Chel Diokno took the offensive on Twitter by posting a screengrab photo of an article detailing his allegation against the government.
Diokno wrote the caption in Filipino, obviously to connect with the common tao or the masses for maximum reach.
In the tweet, Diokno accused government lawyers of intimidating the fishermen, thus explaining why they did not sign the petition.
Diokno remarked that it was not only suspicious that the government secretly talked to their clients, it was also against legal ethics.
Diokno said it appeared it’s Recto 22 once again, alluding to Mindoro fishermen who changed their narratives after meeting with DA Secretary Manny Pinol.
Hindi lang kahina-hinala na patagong nakipag-usap ang gobyerno sa mga kliyente namin, labag din sa legal ethics yan. Mukhang na-Recto 22 na naman ang mga Pilipino. pic.twitter.com/CNFq1CRV2K— Chel Diokno (@ChelDiokno) July 10, 2019
Meanwhile, DDS blogger and lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles has taken to Facebook to discuss the possible implications of Diokno’s statement.
First, Angeles said that Diokno’s statement the fishermen involved in the Gem-Ver incident were coerced, that is why they decided not pursue the case is wrong.
Angeles reasoned that the so-called Recto 22 fishermen never filed or submitted an affidavit or a sworn testimony while the controversial issue stayed in the limelight for so long.
Angeles couldn’t help but ask if Diokno was implying the fishermen were denied of justice?
Angeles wondered if the fishermen were only after the damages, she asked were the money they received for repair of their boat and payment for their experiences not enough to be considered as justice?
Second, Angeles dismissed Atty. Diokno’s malicious innuendo the government used underhanded tactics like talking to fishermen-petitioners of Writ of Kalikasan, thus the ending, the fishermen withdrew their case.
Angeles remarked there are questions bugging her mind.
Like, Did Diokno’s clients really understand what their diving into? How can Diokno tell the fishermen changed their minds after the Navy lawyer talked to them if he wasn’t sure of his clients intentions because he didn’t talk to all of them personally?
Angeles dismissed Diokno’s allegations as hogwash. But, Angeles remarked the allegation versus the government lawyers is serious. On one hand, Angeles said it is just fair Diokno is being hounded by such issue for claiming he represents all the fishermen when in truth, he only talked to the three of them. Angeles exclaimed that is why Diokno can’t explain the case properly.
And lastly, the worse implication, according to Trixie Cruz-Angeles is that, it would be hard to shrug off the impression that Diokno and his LP allies used the fishermen as the springboard to attack the Duterte admin.
You may read lawyer Trixie Cruz-Angeles full FB post below,
Dalawa ang implikasyon sa sinabi ni Atty. Diokno dito.
Una, sinasabi niyang nakausap o na-persuade ang mga mangingisdang nakasakay sa Gem-Ver nung natamaan ito ng Chnese fishing vessel wt di na sila magkakaso.
Pero mali ito. Dahil kelanman ay di nag file ng complaint affidavit ang mga mangingisdang tinatawag niyang Recto 22. Wala silang inumpisahang kaso sa tinagal tagal ng isyu. Nagpapahiwatig ba si Atty. Diokno na na short cut ang hustisiya dito? Eh kung damages lang ang habol nila, hindi ba hustisya ang naka recover na sila ng paggawa ng fishing boat, at danyos sa kanilang dinanas?
Pangalawa, pinahihiwatig ni Atty. Diokno na gawain ng gobyerno yung ipa urong ang petisyon sa writ of kalikasan, at tila ito ang naging dahilan sa paguurong ng kaso.
Pero ang tanong, alam ba ng mga kliyente ni Atty Diokno ang pinasok nila? Paano niya masasabing NAGBAGO ang isip ng mga mangingisda matapos kausapin ang Navy lawyer, KUNG NI HINDI SIYA SIGURADO SA KAGUSTUHAN NG MGA ITO, GAWA NGA NG HINDI NIYA MAN LANG NAKAUSAP ANG KARAMIHAN SA MGA PETITIONERS?
Hanash, itong statement na ito. Pero may seryosong akusasyon laban sa mga abogadong involved sa panig ng gobyerno. NGUNI’T posibleng patas lang sa hinaharap niyang isyu na nag sabi siyang representante siya ng mga mangingisdang ito, nguni’t maliban sa tatlo, ay di niya nakausap ang karamihan. At di niya napaliwanag ang kaso.
Worse, paano na ang impresyon na ginagamit lang ng kanyang grupo ang mga mangingisda, para may sangkalan sa paglaban sa gobyerno?
Statement sourced from @edupunay of PhilStar.
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