Election law needs reforms, says Chel Diokno

BATANGAS, Philippines – Senatorial candidate Chel Diokno said Otso Diretso was trailing in surveys because it could not compete with administration candidates when it comes to political ad spending.

In the latest Pulse Asia survey conducted between March 23-27, 10 out of the 16 senatorial candidates who have a “statistical chance of winning” were bets of the administration. 

Kung tutuusin, hindi rin makatarungan ang eleksyon kasi ang gusto ng mga kandidato ng administrasyon ay paramihan na lang ng tarp at pag nangangampanya ay tawanan nalang at kantahan. Pero hindi naman po tayo gagawa ng tarp sa Senado at hindi rin naman comedy bar o videoke ang Senado. Gagawa tayo ng batas,” Diokno said in an interview during his visit to Batangas, his home province, on Wednesday, April 10.

(Come to think of it, elections here are not fair because administration candidates are just producing many tarpaulins. And they just laugh and sing in campaigns. But we're not producing tarps in the Senate, nor is it a comedy bar or videoke bar. It's where we write laws.)

Diokno said they have been challenging administration candidates to a debate for the public to see who truly has the ability to propose proper laws but to no avail.

Ang problema ay iniiwasan nila, ayaw nilang humarap. Palagay ko ay ginagawa pa nila 'yon dahil makakalamang sila sa mga tarp at sa television ad,” he added. (The problem is they're avoiding the debates. They don't want to face us. I think they're doing it because they are way ahead with the number of tarpaulins and TV ads.)

Should he be elected, Diokno said he would propose reforms in the election law to give an equal fighting chance to those who do not have enough means to seek office due to lack of funds.

Originally from the town of Taal in Batangas, Diokno said he decided to file his candidacy because nobody wanted to talk about justice in the country. 

Bakit ayaw pag-usapan ang katarungan? Ang ibig sabihin ng katarungan ay pananagutan. Baka sila ang unang managot at mabilanggo? Pag binigyan ng lakas ang ating mga kapatid baka hindi na sila iboto.

(Why don't they want to talk about justice? Justice means accountability. Maybe they'll be the first be the first to be answerable and be jailed. When you give power to our citizens, maybe they won't vote for them anymore.) – Rappler.com