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Militant solons file COC as independents, open doors to NP
In The Press Posted on November 28th, 2009.
With more than a hundred supporters chanting their names in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela, Women’s Party Rep. Liza Maza on Sunday filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) as independent senatorial aspirants.
“Ito na ang katuparan ng kapasyahan ng aming ng walong party-list organizations na binuklod sa koalisyon ng makabayang mamamayan na magpakandidato ng dalawa sa senado, si Congresswoman Liza Maza at ako," Ocampo told reporters upon arriving at the Comelec office from the Liwasang Bonifacio.
(This is the fulfillment of the decision of our coalition of party-list organizations to campaign for two candidates in the senate, Congressman Liza Maza and myself.)
Earlier, talks with the Nacionalista Party (NP) failed after the leftist lawmakers refused to run under the same senatorial slate as Rep. Ferdinand “Bong-Bong" Marcos, Jr.
"We are almost satisfied with the response of the Nacionalista Party, but we just had a problem when the it declared it would coalesce with the KBL," he said, adding it is a party identified the Marcoses and their supporters.
Maza agreed with Ocampo saying that "one aspect of good governance is accountability, accountability of past and current administrations in dealing with corruption and crimes against its people, and the issue of human rights - the time of the Marcos dictatorship included."
Despite this, both Ocampo, 70, and Maza, 52, said that they are not closing their doors on becoming guest candidates of NP as long as the party considers their concerns regarding their platforms.
According to Ocampo, his group is not in the position to exclude someone in the NP's slate, saying they would just settle on the principle of mutual accommodation.
So we just wish to be adopted by a party whose platform is closest to ours, just like NP, Ocampo said.
On the other hand, the lawmaker said they had considered joining Senator Benigno “Noynoy" Aquino’s Liberal Party, but they found many things lacking in the LP's platform.
“Nakita naming maraming mga puwang, maraming mga issue dun na hindi natukoy (We saw many gaps, there are many issues that were not tackled there)," he said.
But if they would not be adopted by any party, Maza said, they are still confident they would be able to wage an international campaign on their own.
“Noong nakaraang eleksyon, tinataya namin na mayroon kaming 3 million followers, ito ay mga committed followers and we think their commitment will multiply a thousand fold so ito ang magiging puhunan namin sa darating na eleksyon," she said.
Ocampo is a former business editor at the Manila Times and was the vice president of the National Press Club from 1970 to 1972. In 1973, he co-founded the National Democratic Front to fight the Marcos regime.
During his term as congressman, the Bayan Muna representative has been hailed twice as among the 30 most outstanding congressmen in the Philippines. He is currently married to Carolina Malay, former journalism professor at the University of the Philippines.
On the other hand, Maza, as a women rights activist, was among those who pushed for the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 and the Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act.
The two lawmakers, together with Rep. Teodoro Casino and Rep. Rafael Mariano, were accused of being involved in the summary execution of three rebel returnees in 2001. In 2008, a regional trial court dismissed the charges. - LBG, GMANews.TV