BAGUIO CTIY (Mar. 31) — Friends and supporters of Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo are optimistic Ocampo would be released this coming Tuesday, April 3 after the Supreme Court (SC) declared that the case filed against him is defective.
Atty. Neri Javier Colmenares, Ocampo’s co-nominee for Bayan Muna is hopeful he would be out of jail by Tuesday. He said the SC’s decision on Ocampo’s release would be announced on Tuesday.
Colmenares explained that the SC declared the case defective because there were no qualifying circumstances in the prosecutor’s resolution and the prosecution failed to furnish Ocampo a copy of the alleged witness’ supplemental affidavit. He added that the murder cases could be absorbed in the several rebellion cases filed against Ocampo that are still pending at the Makati regional trial court.
National daily reports said SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Associate Justices Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez, Romeo Callejo Sr., Leonardo Quisumbing, Minita Chico-Nazario and Cancio Garcia all opined that the multiple murder case filed against Ocampo be re-investigated.
The multiple murder cases were filed against Ocampo after the alleged discovery of a mass grave supposedly containing remains of murdered spies. Ocampo denied the allegations and his supporters questioned the timing of filing of the case.
Colmenares further said the Bayan Muna campaign is affected with Ocampo’s detention. “We are having difficulties with our campaign because Satur (Ocampo) is in prison and I am also working on his case,” he explained.
Colmenares also said that while Ocampo’s arrest translates to more votes as shown in the latest SWS survey, the group shall continue to conduct an issue based campaign. He added that they are confident of Bayan Muna’s strength but they still need to guard their votes.
“We want to win on the basis of our platform, not because Satur is arrested or because our members are killed. We want to experience a normal election campaign,” he stressed. # Kim Quitasol for NORDIS