Ocampo, Maza vows good governance as they proclaim independent senatorial slate

November 24, 2009 2:40 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 24 –- Confetti showered and political chants reverberated at a restaurant in Quezon City on Tuesday afternoon as two left-leaning politicians announced they would be running as independents for senator in the May 2010 national elections.

In an emotionally charged news conference, militant Bayan Muna partylist Representative Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Representative Liza Maza announced said they will no longer join the senatorial slate of Sen. Manny Villar's Nacionalista Party (NP).

With that, supporters fired up confetti at the function room of Max’s Restaurant branch inside the Quezon Memorial Circle along Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City.

“We believe that we can carry the campaign,” Ocampo said, stressing that they would rely on the support of their mass base.

Ocampo and Maza said their platform is good governance, a pro-Filipino economy and a continued peace process with the insurgents.

The decision came after the left-leaning solons failed to reach an agreement with the NP, which had forged an alliance with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), and which the congressman and congresswoman opposed.

Ocampo and Maza said siding with the NP would mean compromising their advocacy against the human rights violations of the late strongman and the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

They said the NP-KBL coalition showed that the two parties are now equals despite being adversaries during the Marcos regime.

Villar, the NP presidential bet said that he forged an alliance with the KBL because of its pro-poor stand, which is aligned with his party's advocacy and his platform of government.

The senator said the NP will announce its complete senatorial slate on November 29, and he plans to file his certificate of candidacy for president on December 1, the last day of the filing of COC set by the Commission on Elections.

Villar has picked Sen. Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition as his running mate.

Ocampo was born April 7, 1939. He is also a journalist, writer and former political prisoner. As a congressman for the Bayan Muna party, he has been an activist for human rights and other issues.

Ocampo was born in Sta. Rita, Pampanga to a family of landless tenant farmers while Maza (born 8 September 1957) is an activist and development worker. She represents the Gabriela Women's Party in the 13th Congress of the Philippines.

On August 21, 2008, the Guimba, Nueva Ecija RTC Judge Napoleon Sta. Romana in a 12-page order, dismissed kidnapping with murder charges against Ocampo and 3 other party-list lawmakers Reps. Teodoro Casino, Maza and Rafael V. Mariano of BAYAN.

The cases originated from the alleged "salvage" (summary execution) of 3 rebel returnees Danilo Felipe in Guimba in 2001, Jimmy Peralta in 2003 and Carlito Bayudan in 2004. But the court found probable cause and issued warrants for the arrest of 14 other co-accused.

After studying at the Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines or PUP), Manuel L. Quezon University and Lyceum of the Philippines, Ocampo was working as a full-time business journalist for the Manila Times in 1963.

He was a vice president of the National Press Club (NPC) from 1970 to 1972.

Ocampo was involved in politics from an early age. In 1964, he was a founding member of the student-youth organization Kabataang Makabayan (Patriotic Youth).

Soon thereafter in 1967-1968, he was on the National Council of the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism (MAN).

President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972 and Ocampo, like many others, was forced to go into hiding. In 1973, Ocampo co-founded the National Democratic Front, seeking to unite various anti-dictatorship forces.

In 1985, while on pass to vote at the National Press Club annual elections, he escaped from the soldiers guarding him and rejoined the underground revolutionary movement. (PNA)V3/JCA

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