His father may have put on a stoic face and his mother a defiant one.
But it was the son who expressed the pain the family of Bayan Muna Rep. Saturnino "Satur" Ocampo was feeling.
"Nakakapagod na (It's wearying)," Ocampo's son Antonio said between sobs during the "Solidarity Gathering" for the detained party-list lawmaker at Club Filipino in San Juan, Metro Manila, Monday.
Amid the strong show of support from a cross-section of society, Antonio broke into tears while his father was in a police hangar, awaiting a final decision to fly him to far-flung Hilongos town in Leyte province.
"I don't want him to go on like this .... He's turning 68 and he still finds it difficult to be with his children and grandchildren," Antonio lamented in Filipino, noting that March 16 was the third time that his father had been arrested.
"That's why I ask for your support and prayers," he told his audience.
Antonio and his family received plenty of support from opposition stalwarts, human rights lawyers, academicians and members of the religious who banded Monday into the "Free Satur, Stand for Justice" movement.
Among them were National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, movie directors Joel Lamangan and Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Ang Ladlad president Danton Remoto, lawyers Rufus Rodriguez, Harry Roque and Lorna Kapunan, and members of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines.
"We have to give him justice now because he deserves justice!" former Vice President Teofisto Guingona told the gathering.
From Manny villar:
Out on the campaign trail, reelectionist senators were infuriated by the Arroyo administration's shabby treatment of Ocampo.
Senate President Manuel Villar said he was shocked by the PNP's audacity in forcing Ocampo's transfer to Leyte against the court's advice.
"It's a cause for concern -- the nerve of our authorities to think of doing (this)," said Villar, who interrupted his campaign to denounce the government's handling of the party-list congressman.
Villar said what was done to Ocampo could be done to other perceived dissidents.
"This is disheartening and scary because in the future this might also be done to ordinary citizens. We should make a stand. While we understand that anyone who commits a crime should be punished, everyone has rights, too, and we should protect these rights at all times, whether it's Ka Satur or someone else," he said.
From Ping Lacson:
Another senator, Panfilo Lacson, said he was "dismayed and angered by the administration's short-circuiting of procedures in forcibly bringing Ka Satur to Leyte in complete disregard of the court."
Lacson decried the administration's defiance of the order of Leyte Judge Ephrem Abando deferring Ocampo's transfer on the flimsy excuse that the Philippine National Police had not received any written order.
Lacson said it was clear that the administration was "hell-bent on harassing and intimidating members of the legitimate opposition" to ensure the "survival of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from a third impeachment proceeding in the 14th Congress."
From Nene Pimentel and Ralph Recto:
In a statement, Sen. Aquilino Pimentel condemned "the Gestapo treatment" of Ocampo by the police.
Even Sen. Ralph Recto, a TEAM Unity senatorial candidate, was appalled by the government's action.
"Satur Ocampo is not a flight risk, harboring no plans to go abroad or underground. So there is no reason that his travel arrangements to Leyte be done a lá Con Air," said Recto in a statement.
He said the government's action had actually backfired.
"If I were the government, I would go easy on Satur, because if the aim of arresting him is to prevent him from returning to Congress, then recent developments may have just guaranteed the opposite. Persecution is a proven vote-getter," Recto said.
From Binay, Escudero, Pimentel
Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay of the Genuine Opposition recalled one instance when he saw Ocampo at City Hall and was told: "Jojo, it won't be long before you find yourself among those being charged."
Malacañang suspended Binay in October last year based on a complaint filed by a rival that he had padded the city payroll with more than 1,000 "ghost employees." Binay got a court order quashing the suspension order.
"We're here to fight for the real spirit of democracy," Binay told Ocampo's supporters, who included GO senatorial candidates Francis Escudero and Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.
From Wigberto Tanada:
Former Sen. Wigberto Tañada condemned the manner by which the government implicated Ocampo in the alleged "purging" of suspected government spies in Leyte 22 years ago and worked for the issuance of an arrest warrant until the lawmaker was eventually arrested.
"This is not the way to strengthen our democracy and freedom," Tañada said. "This is not the way to peace, to justice and truth. Let us all wake up because what's happening to our friends may also happen to us."
The solidarity movement is set to hold a nationwide protest action on Wednesday to further generate support for Ocampo's petition during the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on Friday.
Ocampo's camp had filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition against the arrest warrant issued by Leyte Judge Abando.
Here's the PDI Editorial on Arroyo refusal to answer media questions on extrajudicial killings and the Satur Ocampo case. "Political" raw kasi eh. Dapat raw tungkol lang sa ekonomiya ang dapat itanong ng media natin sa kanya.
More Ocampo Commentaries:
Rina Jimenez David: An Iconic Photo
Amando Doronila: The kidnapping of Ocampo
Ernie Maceda: Arrogance of Power
Lito Banayo: When it Pours
Ellen Tordesillas has more on Satur here and here.
Ninez Cacho Olivarez: Spinning out of Control
Editorials: PDI, Tribune
And finally from Conrad de Quiros, who pens another slam bang article against the admin on the satur case. He also criticized the opposition candidates for not protesting violently against on the admin's handling of Satur.
Well Conrad, the opposition is doing what they can to support satur and condemn the admin. (unless you are referring to the Ang Kapatiran candidates Zosimo Paredes, Martin Bautista, and Adrian Sison, who have yet to even condemn or protest Satur's treatment in their blogs or give a press statement on that matter)
What is more disappointing is that the civil society types and human rights groups/NGO ek eks who used to come to the aid of the persecuted are nowhere to be found. Only those members of civil society who were anti-arroyo are the ones coming to satur's aid right now.
Pati yung CBCP at simbahan, noticable quiet sila sa pangaabuso ng administration, whereas kung ginawa ito ni erap, magpro-protesta ang mga ito. Bakit kaya? Siguro may kinalaman si Efraim Genuino dito, lol.
(o baka malakas pa rin ang pull ng pro-arroyo wing ng CBCP that includes Capalla, Quevedo, Arguelles and Soc Villegas.)