April 28, 2010
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Katribu Partylist writes in reaction to the photo caption of Hon. Satur Ocampo on April 26, 2010 in page A2 of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. In the said photo, Hon. Ocampo was shown wearing the Igorot G-string. Its caption – ANYTHING FOR VOTES: Senatorial Candidate Satur Ocampo, wearing traditional G-String and Igorot headdress, campaigns in Burnham Park, Baguio City.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer should have asked why Hon. Ocampo was with the Igorot G-string while speaking in front of the 5,000 delegates of the Cordillera Day, an annual celebration organized by the Cordillera Peoples Alliance. This year’s Cordillera Day celebration also served as Miting de Avance of Katribu Northern Luzon.
Before his speech, Cordillera Elders requested Hon. Ocampo to use the G-string not as a political gimmick but as a gesture from the elders symbolizing the respect that the Cordillerans have for Hon. Ocampo. Through this gesture, the Cordillera elders have acknowledged Hon. Ocampo’s genuine service to the Cordillera people.
As a social activist and a three-termer partylist representative for Bayan Muna, Hon. Ocampo has always promoted Indigenous peoples rights, as part of his advocacy to help the oppressed and marginalized sectors in our country. Hon. Ocampo was present in many legislative inquiries on issues confronting the Cordillerans such as issues on land, housing and human rights. He facilitated needed projects in Cordillera communities. He even attended to many activities in the region even in far-flung areas. A case in point is his visit in Dallikan, Mountain Province for the MAITUD (Movement for the Advancement of Inter-Tribal Unity and Development) Assembly in 2006. With his track record, Hon. Ocampo does not need to have an Igorot blood to be regarded as a precious son of the Cordillera and a reliable kin of Philippine indigenous peoples.
Hon. Ocampo’s unconditional service to the Cordillera people is the very basis of Katribu’s support for his senatorial bid. This team-up is geared in the furtherance of indigenous people’s rights and welfare. With Hon. Ocampo’s track record and selfless service for the indigenous peoples and the entire Filipino people, Katribu fully believes that he will continue with his advocacies in the Senate.
In this light, Katribu Partylist asks for sensitivity especially in cultural activities where indigenous peoples’ gestures and symbols are deemed meaningful. In the spirit of factual information, Katribu sincerely requests for the printing of this letter.
Beverly L. Longid
Katribu 1st Nominee