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Satur Ocampo

Satur C. Ocampo is a Filipino partylist representative, journalist, and writer. He is a member of the House of Representatives, president of the Bayan Muna political party, and Deputy Minority Leader in the 14th Congress of the Philippines. He has done work in human rights and other areas. After his three terms as congressman, he has decided to run for senator in the coming May 2010 elections. Together with Gabriela representative Liza Maza, Ocampo is a guest candidate of the Nacionalista Party under standard bearer Manny Villar.

Satur Ocampo was born in Sta. Rita, Pampanga to a family of landless tenant farmers. After studying at the Philippine College of Commerce, Manuel L. Quezon University and Lyceum of the Philippines University, by 1963 he was working as a full-time business journalist and later became assistant business editor for the Manila Times. 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 1967-68, he was in the National Council of the Movement for the Advancement of Nationalism (MAN). Upon the declaration of Martial Law, he was forced to go into hiding.

President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and Ocampo, among others, went underground. In 1973, Ocampo co-founded the National Democratic Front, seeking to unite various anti-dictatorship forces. In 1976, he was arrested and incarcerated as a political prisoner. For the next nine years he was severely tortured in various prison camps. At one point, he shared a cell with detained Philippine Collegian editor-in-chief Abraham Sarmiento, Jr. Though tried by a military court for rebellion, he was never found guilty. 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.

After the dictatorship fell in 1986, and President Corazon Aquino called for peace talks and Ocampo headed the NDF peace negotiating panel. When the talks collapsed due to the killing of 18 farmers at a rally near the Malacañang Palace on January 22, 1987, Ocampo returned to the underground. In 1989, he was rearrested together with his wife, Carolina Malay. Three years later in 1992, a year after his wife was released, he was freed. Neither were found guilty of any crime.

Ocampo fled after charges related to an alleged Communist purge in 1984, with charges being brought shortly before the impending May 2007 elections. On March 16, 2007, Representative Ocampo was arrested. Face-to-face interviews with Ocampo while he was in custody were forbidden, decided Manila Police District director, Senior Superintendent Danilo Abarzosa. This move was criticized by his supporters. On April 3, 2007 Ocampo was released by order of the Supreme Court after paying a P100,000 cash bond.

On July 4, 2008, Manila RTC Executive Judge Reynaldo Ros assumed jurisdiction over the multiple murder lawsuit against Jose Maria Sison, House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, and National Democratic Front member Luis Jalandoni after the Supreme Court’s Third Division ordered a change of venue from the Hilongos Leyte RTC Branch 18 for safety reasons. The accused were charged of executing 30 farmers in 1985 when purging military assets within the New People’s Army in Southern Leyte. Fifteen corpses were found in a mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte, in 2006.

On August 21, 2008, the Guimba, Nueva Ecija RTC Judge Napoleon Sta. Romana in a 12-page order, dismissed kidnapping with murder charges against Rep. Satur Ocampo and three other progressive party-list lawmakers Reps. Teodoro Casino of Bayan Muna, Liza Maza of Gabriela and Rafael V. Mariano of Anakpawis. The cases originated from the alleged "salvage" (summary execution) of three 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.

Other Information

  • Born : April 07, 1939
  • Birth place : Sta. Rita, Pampanga
  • Nationality : Filipino
  • Political party : Bayan Muna
  • Other political affiliations : Guest senatoriable candidate for Nacionalista Party
  • Education : Philippine College of Commerce, Manuel L. Quezon University and Lyceum of the Philippines University
  • Spouse : Carolina Malay
  • Profession : Writer/journalist

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