Press Release
December 14, 2009

Villar formally welcomes Satur, Maza to NP slate

Nacionalista Party President and standard-bearer Sen. Manny Villar yesterday formally welcomed Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza as the party's guest senatorial candidates.

At a press conference at the Quezon City Sports Club, Villar said the two militant lawmakers' inclusion in the NP's senatorial slate bolstered the party's pro-poor campaign platform.

"Ka Satur and Liza Maza are two known champions in the advancement of the rights of the underprivileged. They have devoted their lives in fighting for the interests of the working class, the peasants, our women, our fisherfolks and the urban poor," Villar said.

"It is therefore with great honor that I stand side by side with them today, knowing now without a doubt that we have a synergy of ideals and principles."

The senator said he, the party and the two militant lawmakers share common advocacies in the areas of agriculture and rural development; agrarian reform; environment and disaster preparedness; delivery of social services; human rights and justice; and good governance and public accountability.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said Maza and Ocampo are running under the multi-sectoral banner of Makabayan and have agreed to a mutual adoption and support with Villar and his running-mate Sen. Loren Legarda, who was also present during the event.

Casiño, campaign manager for Ocampo, said the mutual endorsement was historic, as it was the first time militant organizations have endorsed candidates for president and vice-president.

The inclusion of the two completes the slate of NP in next year's polls. The other senatorial candidates of the party are: reelectionist Sens. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. as guest candidates, Sen. Pia 'Companera' Cayetano; Ilocos Norte Rep. Bongbong Marcos; retired Col. Ariel Querubin; Adel Tamano; Susan 'Toots' Ople; Gwendolyn 'Gwen' Pimentel; Ramon 'Mon-Mon' Mitra; and former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla.

"If you now look at our line-up, you will see a combination of personalities with one common goal: which is to fight for the interests of the Filipino people, a great majority of whom are poor," Villar said.

"Now the Nacionalista Party truly is the only party that represents all sectors of Philippine society."

Villar, whose rags-to-riches life story is being tagged as a reason for his affinity with the poor, said the ones who can identify with poor Filipinos are the only ones who can genuinely effect reforms for their welfare.

"That is why we worked really hard to have Reps. Ocampo and Maza in our ticket. We recognize their sincere devotion to the welfare of the underprivileged," Villar explained.

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