With five teams of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) scattered all over the metropolis to track him down and 15 agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) swooping down at his home in Quezon City, Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo is the subject of probably the most elaborate manhunt today.
Despite public persecution from the government, however, Ocampo’s party, Bayan Muna, emerged as the top choice as party-list in the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) survey. Its allies, Anakpawis (toiling masses) and Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) placed second and third in the list, respectively.
Ocampo, a journalist before and during the early years of Martial Law, a two-time political detainee, the former spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines after the fall of the dictatorship, and a two-termer representative of Bayan Muna in the Lower House, is facing arrest for charges of multiple murder.
Branch 18 of the Regional Trial Court of Hilongos, province of Leyte issued a warrant for his arrest on Monday, March 5, for the alleged murders in a purported purge of at least 62 members of the Maoist New People’s Army (NPA) in Inopacan, Leyte in 1984.
However, Ocampo said he could not have been in Leyte at that time to give orders for the alleged purge and killings, as claimed by witnesses, because he was under military custody then.
In a media briefing on Tuesday, March 6, Ocampo said this move to put him behind bars is one of the Macapagal-Arroyo government’s means to neutralize Bayan Muna and its “politics for change.”
Bulatlat is reposting this story on Ocampo to give a deeper view of why government agents want to get him and why the marginalized sectors of society want him back as their representative at the Lower House.