Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno has officially filed his certificate of candidacy for a senatorial bid in the 2022 National Elections - but it wasn't merely his political plan that caught the attention of the internet.
Diokno arrived at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila in Pasay City donning a mask custom-designed with his toothy grin in front, as if Chel is smiling at the cameras the entire time.
Diokno's mask has apparently appropriated a favorite of his critics, including President Rodrigo Duterte, which is his teeth.
In April of 2020, Duterte had a tirade against Diokno's teeth amid criticisms of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic: “Ito si Diokno magsalita parang janitor. At saka tumakbo ka ng senador, eh hindi kayo bino… bumoto ng tao. Alam mo kung bakit? Pwede kitang biruin? Huwag kang magalit. Alam mo kung bakit hindi ka nanalo? Kasi kalaki ng ngipin mo."
"Magsalita kalahati ng panga mo lumalabas. Maghanap ka ng [...] vaciador. ‘Yung nagtatadyak ng… tadyak ng pang… pang-patalas ng mga barbero. Diyan ka pumunta. Ilagay mo ‘yung ngipin mo doon. Doon ka sa tadyak. Naglilibot ‘yan."
Diokno's campaign slogan now is #NgipinNgBatas.
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After posting his COC photos on social media, supporters were soon asking for a face mask "shop reveal" for its uncanny design.
Meron ba sa shopee o lazada nyang mask, sir? Shop reveal namaaaan— Loey(•ө•)♡ (@niinisaaaa) October 7, 2021
arbor mask lods— 𝙹𝚊 (@jareddj) October 7, 2021
Anyway, saan po makakaavail nung mask ni @ChelDiokno ????? 🥺🥺🥺— Jemuel Satumba (@verywellCED) October 7, 2021
Plano kong pag-uwi ko ng probinsya na suot ang Let Leni Lead na shirt tapos nung nakita ko yung mask ni Senator Chel, gusto kong idagdag!!
oy bet ko yung mask ni chel diokno hahahaha napaka happy vibes. CHEEEEEEEEL DIOOOOOOOKNO. CHEEEEEL. DIOOOOOOKNO. pic.twitter.com/oRTcHlIalG— Grace (@xx20gae) October 7, 2021
Diokno's latest senatorial bid marks his second attempt for the office after losing in 2019. He will now run under the newly formed party, Katipunan ng Nagkaisang Pilipino (KNP).
Banner photos from COMELEC Twitter and Chel Diokno's Facebook page