Bawal ‘yan! Diokno cries foul over gov’t tactics to kill writ of kalikasan case
Losing senatorial bet Chel Diokno told the government that it violated legal ethics when it reached out to his clients who filed the petition asking the Supreme Court (SC) to issue a protection order over areas in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
During oral arguments over the petition on July 9, Solicitor General Jose Calida told the SC that 19 of the petitioners said they were not aware of the petition and added they don’t want anything to do with it.
“Nagsampa ng petition for Writ of Kalikasan ang mga mangingisda ng Zambales at Palawan para protektahan sila ng gobyerno,” Diokno said.
“Ngayon, pagkatapos ‘makausap’ ng abogado ng Navy, umatras na daw ang mga mangingisda. Hindi raw kanila ang kaso,” he lamented.
Diokno said the secret meeting the government did with a number of the petitioners was foul.
“Hindi lang kahina-hinala na patagong nakipag-usap ang gobyerno sa mga kliyente namin, labag din sa legal ethics yan,” he stated.
The petition sought for to issuance of a writ of kalikasan to compel the government to protect Ayungin Shoal, Panganiban Reef, and Panatag Shoal from environmental degradation cause by Chinese incursions in Philippine territorial waters.
The petitioners included the Kalayaan Palawan Farmers and Fisherfolk Association who are members of the fisherfolk community in the Municipality of Kalayaan, Province of Palawan as well as residents of Sitio Kinabukasa, Cawag, Zambales.