Statement of De La Salle Philippines On The Criminal Charges Against Br. Armin Luistro FSC And Atty. Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno

Last week the Philippine National Police (PNP) filed criminal charges against Vice President Leni Robredo and 35 other individuals, many of whom are members of the opposition. Among those charged are Br. Armin Luistro FSC and Atty. Jose Manuel ‘Chel’ Diokno, both Lasallians who are at the forefront of the advocacy to uphold human life, dignity, and liberty. Fighting for these ideals does not equate to sedition nor inciting to sedition. They are merely exercising their freedom enshrined in our Constitution which guarantees “the freedom of speech, of expression, of the press, and the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances” (Article III, Section 4). 

We strongly denounce these charges against them and the leaders of the opposition especially as these are based solely on the affidavit of a convicted felon Joemel Advincula. 

We call on the PNP to live up to its ideals of Service, Honor and Justice and not to allow itself to be used for political ends. 

We call on the current Administration to end the filing of charges against its perceived critics and instead perform its duty to protect the democratic space for dissent, grievances, and critical perspectives. The government is for all and not just for those who agree with the policies of the Administration. 

We also call on all freedom loving Filipinos to continue to voice out their views in support of human rights and democratic principles. 

As we continue to pray for all those charged, we also pray that our leaders in government may be enlightened as we all seek a country that is socially and politically inclusive. 

Finally, we call on all Lasallians to support Br. Armin and Atty. Chel, patriots and exemplars of our core values of Faith, Service, and Communion in mission.