Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ocampo, Maza file CoCs for Senate (2nd attempt of radical left post-1986)

by Jesus F. Llanto, Newsbreak | 11/29/2009 12:28 PM

MANILA - Left-wing party-list representatives Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza filed their certificate of candidacies (CoCs) on Sunday at the Commission on Elections main office and said that they are not closing their doors to the possibility that they would run as guest candidates of major political parties.

Ocampo and Maza have served in the Congress for three terms as representatives of left-wing groups Bayan Muna and Gabriela, respectively.

Ocampo said he is running for senator to continue the advocacies he fought for as congressman during his three terms and to help party-list representatives in the Congress push their advocacies.

“We want to have our party-list representatives to have a partner in the Senate,” Ocampo said.

“As I have done in the House for the last nine years, I want to represent in the Senate the truly poor and marginalized people of our country,” Ocampo said, adding that he would push for the upliftment of economic conditions of the poor, genuine agrarian reform and agricultural modernization, universal health care, housing and education for all.

Maza, meanwhile, said it is about time for the true marginalized sector to “have representatives with track record” in the Senate.

“I believe it is high time that women progressive candidates enter the senatorial elections,” Maza said.

The senatorial bids of Ocampo and Maza are only the second attempt at senatorial electoral politics of the radical left after the restoration of democracy in 1986.

Led by former New People's Army chief Bernabe 'Ka Dante' Buscayno, the left-wing Partido ng Bayan (PnB) also fielded bets for the Senate in the 1987 elections. None of them won.

Makabayan coalition

Bayan Muna and Gabriela, along with Anakpawis, Kabataan and three other groups, are part of the left-wing coalition Makabayan. The coalition claims a membership of 3 million.

The coalition applied for accreditation at the Comelec but it later withdrew its application after the poll body informed that “individual personalities” of the group would cease to exist once it is accredited as a political party.

Earlier, the coalition threw its support for Senator Francis Escudero, but the latter has resigned from Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) and has decided not to run for any higher position.

Talks with NP

A few weeks ago, Makabayan was in the final phase of talks with Nacionalista Party’s Manuel Villar on the possibility of being guest candidates of Villar’s party. The plan did not materialize because NP has forged an alliance with the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), the party of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. NP also adopted Marcos son and namesake—Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.—as part of its senatorial slate.

Ocampo was a National Democratic Front (NDF) activist during the Marcos regime and was among the Marcos critics who were arrested and detained.

“We formalized our decision not to pursue our guest candidacy under the NP. At this point, doing otherwise would compromise our stand on the issue of recovering the Marcos family’s ill-gotten wealth and compensating the human rights victims of the Marcos dictatorship,” read a statement posted at the website of Makabayan.

“These are issues that are very important to us and require closure. It would be a grave injustice to the Filipino people to ignore or gloss over them for the sake of political expediency,” it added.

Asked if they would join the NP would drop Marcos in its senatorial slate, Ocampo said that they are not in the position to demand the exclusion of any potential senatorial candidates in the slate.

Independents now

Ocampo and Maza said that there is still a possibility that they would end up as guest candidates of the senatorial slate of the major political parties. Ocampo said that aside from NP, they have had talks with Liberal Party (LP) and the NPC, the party founded by Marcos crony Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.

“Wala pa namang nakukumpletong slate,” Ocampo said, adding that they would only join the bigger parties as adopted or guest candidates. “Walang party na purong partido nila ang tumatakbo. Nangangahoy sila sa ibang partido.”

Asked if they would join Liberal Party, Ocampo said there are a lot of personalities who are being considered to complete the senatorial line up of the party.

Ocampo added that they only know the platform of LP’s standard-bearer Benigno Aquino III and not the entire party. He said that there a lot of issues with the platform of Aquino especially when it comes to agrarian reform, human rights and peace talks. (Newsbreak)

as of 11/29/2009 1:34 PM


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