At around 2:00 pm today, April 3, Bayan Muna Representative triumphantly walked out of the Manila Police District headquarters where he was detained for 18 days, after the Supreme Court granted his petition for release.
The court en banc this morning ruled that Ocampo may be freed as soon as he posted a P100,000 cash bond, pending the tribunal’s resolution of his petition for certiorari seeking to nullify the trumped-up multiple murder case and to quash the arrest warrant against him.
Ka Satur and Bayan Muna, of course, have a reason to be happy. That the Supreme Court allowed his release on bail punctuates the point that the government case against him is weak and flawed. Had the court found the evidence strong, Ka Satur would not have been freed on bail.
Joyous celebration broke out as soon as Bayan Muna members saw a beaming and exultant Ocampo pass through the MPD lobby and later at the gate. Mothers showered him with kisses and sampaguita garlands. One of them gave Ka Satur his official campaign vest, to signify Bayan Muna’s longing for him to rejoin the campaign trail. Shouts of “Number One partylist, Bayan Muna!” and “Sigaw ng bayan, Bayan Muna” filled United Nation’s Avenue.
People waved at Ka Satur wherever his motorcade went. Perhaps the people of Manila were surprised that he was able to get out of detention. No doubt about it, the people wanted him free and showed this in their smiles and cheers along the motorcade route.
Elsewhere, Defense Sec. Hermogenes Ebdane and Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez tried in vain to save face in view of Ka Satur’s victory at the Supreme Court. They continue to exploit the grief of alleged purge victims to demonize Ka Satur, and barks about as if nothing was wrong. The fact is, the Supreme Court found their case too weak that the tribunal is compelled to respect Ka Satur’s constitutional right to post bail.
At the end of the day, Ka Satur is free. He is vindicated. He is now in a better position to continue to expose the Arroyo regime’s many criminal acts and help pave the way for Bayan Muna’s victory in the May 14, 2007 elections.
Photo courtesy of Associated Press/Yahoo! News by Aaron Favila.