I am happy about the release of Satur Ocampo from detention, temporary as it may be at the moment. In this regard, I congratulate him for his courage and tenacity and his lawyers led by Atty. Romeo Capulong for their high legal competence and successful defense which should be beneficial to the co-accused who are equally falsely charged.

I am also glad to take note of the broad mass support for Satur against his persecution. In this connection, I commend his partylist organization, the mass movement, allies and solidarity groups both in the Philippines and in different parts of the world who have campaigned for his release.

But I am still indignant over the patently false charge in Leyte against Satur and his co-accused, including Luis Jalandoni and myself, especially because the Arroyo regime and its military minions blatantly continue to persecute us by using false charges.

In the first place, Satur should have never been detained. At a speedy rate, the Supreme Court should have declared the patent falsity and baselessness of the charges and adopted firm sanctions against those who fabricated the charges and used them for the purpose of persecution and repression under the direction of the Arroyo regime.

It is a matter of public record that Satur and I were separately in maximum security detention in the years of 1984 to 1986 (he in Bicutan and I in Fort Bonifacio) and we did not have any authority in any party or armed organization. It has also been well-ventilated by the legal experts that, on several compelling grounds, the charges should have been thrown to the wastebasket at once.

These grounds include: the charge of murder is subject to a 20-year prescriptive period, the charge of rebellion as a political offense absorbs all other criminal allegations related to it, the charges of rebellion against Satur and his co-accused have been covered by general amnesty in 1987, the glaring inconsistencies and recycled evidence put into serious question the finding of probable cause, and many other factual and legal badges of persecution which the GRP Supreme Court must inevitably confirm in conformity with basic rules of due process and fairness.

Once again, the highly questionable and scandalously dirty tricks of the Arroyo regime have backfired. We are gratified that these false charges are being exposed for what they are – manifestations of state terrorism under the all-out war policy of the Arroyo regime and the Bush global war of terror.

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