MANILA - Opposition senatorial candidate Chel Diokno was all smiles Tuesday evening even after losing his first Senate bid, saying his failed foray into politics would not be his last public outing.
As of 5:53 p.m. with 95.17 percent of votes counted, Diokno stagnated at the 21st spot with 6,175,743 votes.
“I am not sad over the results of the elections. Ganun lang talaga yan. What is important is the light we have shown in the darkness,” Diokno told his supporters in a thanksgiving gathering in Quezon City.
“This is a time for us to CHELebrate dahil bukas na bukas magsisimula tayo ulit. Kung bawat araw merong tayong isang ma-woke, in 2 years walang makakapigil sa atin,” he said.
“I promise you I will never give up. This fight will never end until we win,” he said.
Diokno did not give a categorical answer when asked if he would be open to run for public office again in 2022.
“Let me sleep on it first. Pag-iisipan nating mabuti yan,” he said.
“Matagal ko na naman sinasabi na kahit anong mangyari sa eleksyon na ito ay itutuloy ko pa rin kung ano ginagawa ko for the longest time,” he added.
“Depende na lang kung saang arena. Kung ngayon hindi tayo nanalo sa Senado, edi babalik muna tayo sa Korte,” the decades-long human rights lawyer said.
The hashtag #SalamatChel earlier trended on Twitter as netizens wrote about their regrets that Diokno - who graduated magna cum laude with a Doctor of Laws degree from the Northern Illinois University in the US, and chaired the Philippines' largest human rights lawyers' group Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) - failed to earn a Senate seat.
“Yung mga nakikita kong tweet, wag naman kayo magsorry. We did our best and we did well,” he said.
“This is not the end. This is the beginning. You will see more of me in the coming days,” he said.