Early this morning, I was woken up from deep slumber by a call on my cellphone. Twas a colleague from Bayan Muna who informed me that our esteemed Congressman Satur Ocampo was being harassed at the NAIA as he was making his way to boarding the Northwest Airlines flight that will take him to Tokyo.
Still smarting from such a different wake-up call, I immediately composed and sent an advisory to all our media friends. I received no complaint for sending out those missives. One even replied: “Grabe. No pretensions na talaga si Raul0.”
By 8:00 am, Ka Satur and Bayan Muna general counsel Neri Javier Colmenares left NAIA, emerging victorious in this battle. Satur’s trip may have been sabotaged and delayed, but the whole exercise gave the country and the world another reminder the POLITICAL REPRESSION continues to be waged by the decrepit and bankrupt government of the de facto President.
Raul Gonzalez may blabber 24/7 but the fact remains that he was caught on TV and radio, admitting that he had to stop Ka Satur from going to Tokyo not really because he’s on the hold departure order. No one believes that shit — Ka Satur had flown abroad several times and came back, proving several times he’s no flight risk and he’s raring to work as Congressman and defend his dignity and assert his innocence before the courts where trumped-up charges are leveled against him and the rest of the Batasan 6.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Amnesty International — whose leaders and offices Ka Satur visited in his recent trip to Europe — should be aghast at this authoritarian, not to mention crazy, attitude of the Arroyo government towards its perceived enemies. How could Mrs. Arroyo now deny political repression when they did it again to Ka Satur — and especially after receiving stinging rebukes from IPU and AI?
Anyway, one newsreader-cum-commentator on TV and radio made wisecracks that Ka Satur was wasting public funds and despoiling the image of the country in his foreign trips, so we might as well applaud the harassment. That’s unfair — and stupid. For the record, Ka Satur has not used even a single centavo in his recent foreign trips, which are actually bankrolled by friends, sponsoring organizations and personal funds. Meanwhile, it is a badge of honor for us Bayan Muna staff that Congressman Ocampo does not surrender his right to free expression to the mercy of the likes of Gonzalez. In fact, we consider it our sworn duty to the people to expose and oppose Mrs. Arroyo’s many, serial and unending acts of lying, stealing, cheating and persecuting enemies (a.k.a. lawyers, judges, activists, journalists and even churchpeople like Bishop Alberto Ramento).
Gonzalez says Ka Satur has no court order to back his travel. Nice try, but we’re better than that. What stinks in this situation is that Gonzalez did not apply for a court permission to hold Ka Satur. Under the law, only regional trial courts can issue hold departure orders, especially in the case of Ka Satur who continues to face a rebellion charge in such a court. Could Gonzalez show the entire nation a written order from the Makati regional trial court expressly stating that the DOJ is authorized to put Ka Satur in a hold-departure list? HELL, NO.
By the way, did you notice whether Ka Satur sunk to Gonzalez’s level in their serial battles? Never. Ka Satur belongs to a different breed of political leaders who have a high respect for the intelligence of the Filipino. Gonzalez is in class of his own.
Anyway, the more Arroyo and her minion at the DOJ harass Ka Satur, the more he is shoved in the public spotlight as a veritable foe of this diseased administration. More and more people are impressed by Ka Satur’s commitment to pursue New Politics, the complete and diametrical opposite of which is personified by the queen and jester in what has been called an Enchanted Kingdom.
Ka Satur: Habang bibinira, lalong hinahangaan ng taumbayan.