Ka Satur Ocampo, the respected leftist statesman running for the Senate this year, doesn’t look and act like he’s 70 years old, which he already is. His endurance is obvious in his active leadership and participation in street protests. He’s young at heart, remaining true to the hopefulness of the ranks of young Filipinos to which he once proudly belonged.
Apart from being faithful to the enduring cause of bringing about a bright, new democratic Philippines, Ka Satur remains young and connected to the youth, thanks to technology.
Ka Satur is an avid texter, texting perhaps hundreds of messages everyday on his Nokia N70, a phone issued to him by Bayan Muna way back in 2007 and which now sports a worn-out keypad.
In 2001, he would be caught on national TV tinkering with his cellphone as a commercial break was ending and the camera was panning on him and the interviewer.
If not busy, Ka Satur instantly answers all the text messages he receives. He rarely uses text-language but understands them, I am sure. A true-blue journalist, his text messages are, direct to the point, crisp and grammatically-correct, down to the punctuation marks: Example: “Salamat, Tonyo!” – yes, complete with the requisite comma.
Woe to anyone who would try to take away Ka Satur’s cellphone from him.
Ka Satur is also a certified Filipino netizen. In 2006, while under the protective custody of Congress, he joined the rest of the so-called Batasan 6 in starting a blog to continue communicating with constituents, especially young people, amid the unending threats of arrest. That blog, also called Batasan 6, was a success.
That same year, on Sept. 21, Ka Satur entered his name in Philippine internet history for holding what was arguably the country’s first online press conference, according to Erwin Alarilla, a reporter for INQ7.net.
With reporters in attendance at Yehey offices’ on the 38th floor of a highrise in Ortigas Center, he presided over a live webcast and webchat with other journalists and other invited online guests. Ka Satur enjoyed it and described it as exhilarating.
In 2007, as the Arroyo government tried to paint him as a mass murderer and with the entire police engaged in a manhunt against him, Ka Satur surfaced on Youtube, addressing a committee of the US Congress which was holding a hearing on human rights issues in the Philippines. It was big news at the time, landing him on the frontpage of the Inquirer the next day, and gave Bayan Muna supporters a moral boost amid the hysteria whipped up by the Arroyo government. (View those videos here, here, and here.)
Technology and the internet in particular are again playing a role in Ka Satur’s candidacy for senator. His supporters have put up a website connections to various social networks.
Just last March 11, Ka Satur again engaged netizens and the public in a live webchat, upon invitation of PoliticalArena.com:
I am proud to be a supporter of Ka Satur, the activist and netizen, as he campaigns for senator.
Here meanwhile are Ka Satur’s campaign advertisements, songs and other downloadable paraphernalia:
[Bloggers and netizens belonging to Blogwatch.ph and 100ARAW will sit down and chat with Ka Satur and fellow Makabayan senatorial bet Liza Maza on March 17 at the University Student Council office, Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman.]