CJSearch PROFILE: Jose Manuel Icasiano Diokno
Diokno, 51, dean of the De La Salle College of Law, is one of the country’s prominent human rights lawyer.
He is the son of former Senator Jose Diokno, a political detainee during martial law who later became the first chair of the Commission on Human Rights during the Cory Aquino government.
Diokno graduated high school with honors at La Salle Greenhills. He studied philosophy at UP.
Immediately after earning his college degree, Diokno went to Law school at the Northern Illinois University where he graduated magna cum laude. He passed the Bar there. Two years later, in 1988, he returned to the Philippines, took the Bar exams and got a grade of 76.25%.
Diokno is active in the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), which is father co-founded in 1974.
He also served as a member of the Presidential Human Rights Committee under Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos.
He was one of the private prosecutors in the impeachment trial of then-President Joseph Estrada in late 2000-January 2001. Thereafter and until 2004, he became general counsel for the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
He later became counsel for Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, a star witness in the National Broadband Network-ZTE corruption scandal.
As a human rights lawyer, Diokno made history as one of the first lawyers to successfully petition the SC for the writ of amparo in 2007 for the Manalo brothers, who were allegedly tortured by the military.
This is not the first time that Diokno has been recommended for a position in the SC. His previous candidacies, however, were objected to by the likes of retired Major General Jovito Palparan.
Palparan claimed Diokno sided with the New People’s Army when he counseled for them in various cases. Palparan was a respondent in the Manalo case.