Remembering Ka Pepe Diokno

“I know my people. We will be free. We will develop. We will build our own societies. We will sing our own songs” — Jose W. Diokno

KA PEPE DIOKNO | Photo from

KA PEPE DIOKNO | Photo from

EXACTLY two days after the first year anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt, a nationalist died.

Today, February 26, 2015, is also Ka Pepe’s birthday. He would have turned 93. Tomorrow is his 28th death anniversary. “Senator, Secretary of Justice, Lawyer, Nationalist, and Filipino” is the simple description of Jose Wright Diokno on the webpage

Starting today, we will be featuring the three-part video of the PCIJ on the life and times of Pepe Diokno. This video was first aired on the PCIJdotOrg Youtube Channel on February 2012.

It is often said that the likes of Senators Jose W. Diokno and Lorenzo Tanada belong to an entirely different generation of lawyers and legislators. Theirs has been called the golden age of statesmanship and politics, a time when legislators could hold the public spellbound for hours with their mastery of the law and the language.

Jose Wright Diokno was the first Filipino to top the licensure exams of both accountancy and the bar. He excelled in trial law at a time when trial lawyers were considered the best and the brightest in the legal profession. In 1961, he was appointed to head the Justice Department, where he attempted to prosecute an American businessman to the consternation of some high-ranking government officials who were said to be in his pocket.

Fired unceremoniously, Diokno ran and won a Senate seat, where he enthralled a new generation of lawyers who would later form the core of his Free Legal Assistance Group.

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