OCAMPO Ye Faithful

Nothing can be more disheartening to a nation that has been promised revolutionary changes since 1986 than to have those promises broken – and every so often at that for the last two decades.

After the Marcos era, we’ve had a disappointingly (though not quite unexpectedly) lackluster line-up of would-be-saviors whose words either hardly ever translated into meaningful changes or just surreptitiously materialized in the form of half-baked, compromise-peppered gestures aimed at pleasing whatever major vested interest happened to be present at the time of consummation.

We’ve also resorted to casting our lot with showbiz celebrities in the oft mistaken notion that their altruistic silver screen personas would translate into incorruptible heroism in the real world. Unfortunately, nobody ever seems to be able to convince those making the career move that scripts in the political arena are fiercely formulaic and that producers and directors are even more cutthroat (some literally) than those found in showbiz. It doesn’t help either that most politicians are actually better at acting than actual actors themselves, so it’s been largely hit and miss with this option.

But then, once in a while, somebody does surface to shatter conventional molds in order to provide real alternatives to the status quo. Case in point: Satur Ocampo.

To begin this testimonial on a totally superficial, absolutely irrelevant, but nonetheless useful point as far as campaigning strategies are involved, it’s already a given that the man brings an arrestingly rugged handsomeness to his already veritable rockstar appeal (a fact I’d expect him to humbly dismiss). As a result of the inevitable combination of this innate showbiz charm and his razor-sharp intellect, he’s already put himself in a celebrity class all his own.

As for political savvy, apart from the fact that he’s already been a force to reckon with even as early as his working student days, Satur Ocampo has served more than a decade as a political detainee under two administrations. As a three term congressman for BAYAN MUNA, he has distinguished himself by authoring and co-authoring progressive bills crafted specifically to empower and uplift millions from the swelling ranks of the marginalized in our country.

But what truly sets him apart from almost every other player in the political arena isn’t so much his ability to elicit awe from pundits and power brokers alike; neither is it his almost inhuman ability to rack up celebrity “pogi points” amongst starstruck fans all across the islands. It is arguably his unwavering steadfastness to the revolutionary principles and ideals he continues to stand for to this day that make him unique among his peers.

YES, he is a REVOLUTIONARY, but not in the desperate, red-baiting context his usual detractors would have you believe. In a country that has always been lorded over by self-serving traditional politicians since whenever, what else can somebody who puts the welfare of the poverty-stricken, disenfranchised masses ahead of his own be anything but revolutionary?

Still, if you’re one to subscribe to the propaganda that tags Satur Ocampo as a godless communist out to destroy the democracy which our ancestors have bled, sweated, and cried (as well as given the occasional political concession) for, then answer me this:

As a nation, have we fared any better under god-fearing, church-going demagogues who preserve democracy for the marginalized masses by engaging in banalities that deprive the very same masses of democratic options in their supposedly democratic state? As a nation, have we fared any better under the inspiring naivete of the incorruptible novitiates (both real and perceived) whose faith, good manners, and right conduct get rendered impotent by a system that requires way more than just the power of good intentions to rock its foundations? As a nation, have we fared any better under the guidance of the narrow-minded conservatives who continue to label activists such as Satur Ocampo as career rabble-rousers; instigators of dissent, hell-bent on sowing discontent as a means to further their twisted ends?

Unless you’ve been comatose for at least the last ten years, your answer should be a resounding NO.

But before my point gets misinterpreted, the crux of the argument is this: How do the purveyors of such tactics stack up against their own rhetoric? The assertion itself is easy enough to debunk, and it only becomes easier to do so considering that the credibility of idiots who resort to mudslinging never quite stand up to objective scrutiny.

Edward R. Murrow once said:

“To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.”

The wisdom lies in being able to make the distinction between a manipulative poseur and an earnest nationalist. If you’re able to do that, then the least that is expected of us is that we help spread the word. As it stands, our continuing susceptibility to the colorful dynamics of character assassination is an ongoing testament to our inability or (worse) our LACK OF WILLINGNESS as an electorate to subject candidates – as well as OURSELVES – to critical inquiry. For those who’ve yet to realize it, this is as much a contributor to our history of broken promises as the recycled rhetoric and poster-boy politics of traditional politicians and showbiz celebrities are as well.

Anyone can claim to be for and of the people. Hell, even the Devil and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have mouthed off such claims under the guise of divine providence. In the end, the true measure of integrity has to be the consistency at which one’s words and convictions translate into concrete actions – all in the pursuit of a truly relevant and progressive vision serving the true interests of the people no matter the cost.

Does Satur Ocampo have that kind of integrity? Does Satur Ocampo have that kind of consistency? Does Satur Ocampo have that kind of vision?

Yes, he does – in heaps.

And that is why he has my vote.

– Eric “Cabring Cabrera, vokalista, Datu’s Tribe

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One Response to “OCAMPO Ye Faithful”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Olga G., Vencer Crisostomo. Vencer Crisostomo said: Cabring Cabrera, Datu's Tribe vocalist na "galit sa baboy" writes a great piece on why he's voting for Satur Ocampo http://bit.ly/9p1s6j […]

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