Jose Diokno Brief Biography Essay

1426 Words Jan 22nd, 2007 6 Pages
Renowned Street Parliamentarian
Nationalist, and Legal Luminary

Jose W. Diokno, or "Ka Pepe," as he was popularly known, was born on February 26, 1922 to Ramon Diokno, a former associate justice of the Supreme Court, and Eleanor Wright, an American who became a Filipino citizen.
He graduated from elementary school with distinction, and finished his secondary education at De La Salle College as valedictorian in 1937. In 1940, he earned his bachelor's degree in commerce summa cum laude also at La Salle. He topped the CPA board examination in the same year with a rating of 81.18 percent. In 1944, without finishing his bachelor of laws degree, he took and topped the bar examination, with a rating of 95.3
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In 1968, while the Vietnam War was still raging, the Free Press named him and several of his colleagues – Jovito Salonga, Benigno Aquino Jr., and Tecla San Andrez Ziga – as outstanding senators for their staunch opposition to the "Philcag Bill," which proposed the sending of Filipino troops to Vietnam and an annual appropriation of P35 million to maintain them while on their mission there.
Interviewed by the Free Press on his stand, Diokno said:
"I cannot vote for the bill because it is an affront to our national dignity…because I cannot agree to spend P35 million for another people when we cannot even provide for the most basic needs of our own. This amount of P35 million is not all that will be spent. These millions are for one year only… Is this right, is this fair to our people when we have not even released the appropriation of P50 million for our school building program and are, today, three years behind schedule?"
When President Ferdinand Marcos proposed a bill appropriating a "political budget" of P2.8 billion, of which P100 million was to be doled out, at P2,000 each, to 31,000 barrios throughout the Philippines without any apparent program for the use of the amount, Senator Diokno reacted strongly. He not only opposed the proposed legislation, but also advised the administration to think twice about going through it, adding that"…. If it is done, it will surely boomerang."
Consistent with his pro-people advocacy, Diokno proposed a humanized

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