Bayan Muna vows to carry on fight vs. injustice, abuse in Philippines

May. 12, 2007

MANILA — A vote for Bayan Muna is a vote for justice, a vote against abuse.

Bayan Muna aired this message to the electorate today, the last day of
the 90-day campaign for partylist aspirants, as it expressed
confidence that Filipino voters will give it a third-straight mandate
if the elections were clean and credible.

“As we close our third partylist campaign, we rededicate ourselves to
the movement to attain justice for the extrajudicially killed, the
involuntarily disappeared, and all victims of the Arroyo government,”
said House Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna President Satur C.

Ocampo said that “injustice and abuse have become the hallmarks of the
Arroyo government, and Bayan Muna will not back down in the fight
against political repression.”

“Bayan Muna is among the victims, with 130 of our members and officers
slain since Mrs. Arroyo assumed the presidency,” said Ocampo, who was
arrested in March on trumped up charges of multiple murder.

Ocampo adds that “We fight like a people’s champion. We aspire to lead
the people in obtaining justice and curbing abuse by the authorities.
We have 130 Bayan Muna fighters who went down fighting.”

Looking back at the 90-day electoral campaign that ends today, Ocampo
said that there was an outpouring of support for Bayan Muna’s cause,
which is New Politics or the Politics of Change.

“Everywhere we went, the people come out and express their admiration
for standing up the injustices and abuses heaped against me when I was
arrested, detained, dragged at dawn to a waiting plane, and the
endless black propaganda,” said Ocampo. “We think the demonification
campaign against us has utterly failed.”

Ocampo said that Bayan Muna strikes a raw nerve among many in the
electorate who reject traditional politics. “Our brand of new politics
which we call the ‘politics of change’ is viewed positively in almost
all places we’ve gone to.”

“We are confident that the people will give us the mandate on May 14
to carry on the ‘politics of change’ inside Congress. We can be
counted on to exercise our powers as Members of Congress lawmaking,
oversight, the power of the purse and impeachment to confront issues
of injustice and abuse,” said Ocampo.

“For one, Bayan Muna urges the Senate to immediately consider passing
the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Bill when Congress meets again
sometime next month. Otherwise, it will be among the first bills we
will file or refile in July if and when we are reelected,” said
Ocampo. “If passed, this Bayan Muna bill will make it a crime for the
state security forces to repeat what has happened to Jonas Burgos and
197 other desaparecidos.”

If both the Pulse Asia and SWS surveys are proven correct on Election
Day, Bayan Muna is assured of retaking the maximum three seats in the
14th Congress. It will make Ocampo a third-termer, senior lawmaker.
Teddy Casio will enter his second term, while human rights lawyer and
constitutionalist Neri Javier Colmenares will become a Bayan Muna
partylist representative for the first time.

Bayan Muna topped the partylist races in 2001 and 2004. ###

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