MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE) Deputy Minority Leader and Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo and Gabriela Representative Liza Maza marched from Liwasang Bonifacio to the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros and filed their certificates of candidacy at around 11 a.m. Sunday.
Ocampo and Maza, who fought the Marcos dictatorship, would have run under the Nacionalista Party of Senator Manny Villar, but decided to run as independents after Villar's party forged an alliance with Ilocos Representative Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.
Marcos, who is also running for senator, filed his CoC Saturday.
Maza and Ocampo, who were adamant about recovering the Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth and seeking justice for human rights violations committed under the Marcos regime, were accompanied by supporters.
At the same time, the two leftist candidates are not closing their doors about running under a major political party.
?Hindi pa namin isinasara ang posibilidad na may suportahang kandidato sa pagka-presidente at bise-presidente. Bukas pa rin kami sa lahat ng partido at inaaral pa namin. May panahon pa naman (We are not closing the possibility of supporting a candidate for president and vice president. We are open to all parties and we are still studying our options. There is still time),? said Maza.
?Ang layunin namin ngayon ay impluwensyahan ang kanilang mga plataporma (Our objective now is to influence their platforms),? added Ocampo.
Ocampo said that among the parties, the Nacionalista Party was the closest party to their own ideals.
?Ang NP lang ang klarong nagsabi sa amin na tinatanggap nila kami. Pero kausap pa rin namin lahat pati Liberal Party (Only NP clearly told us that they are accepting us. But we are still talking to other parties, including the Liberal Party),? said Ocampo.
Asked how he would work with Marcos in case they run under the same party, Ocampo said, ?Mutual accommodation na lang. Hindi pa rin kami nakikipag-usap sa mga Marcoses. Wala kami sa posisyon para sabihin na tanggalin ang sinuman. Wala rin namang partido ang puro, walang line-up na unified (We have still not talked to the Marcoses. We are not in a position to ask that some candidates be removed from the list. There is no party that has a filled, unified line-up).?
But Maza said the platform of Makabayan cannot be compromised.
?Nangunguna sa platform namin ay (First in our platform are) good governance, accountability at human rights. Malinaw sa plataporma namin ung pagkuha ng hustisya sa lahat ng biktima ng human rights (Our position is clear about justice for all victims of human rights),? she said.
Both Maza and Ocampo are confident that they can carry a national campaign even as independents.
?Nung binuo namin ang Makabayan, inassess naming ang kakayahan namin. Sa halos tatlong milyong voting base namin, kaya naming ilunsad ang kumpanya (When we created Makabayan, we assessed our capacity. With almost three million as our voting base, we can launch our campaign),? said Ocampo.
The 70-year-old Ocampo, who has been a party-list congressman for nine years, said that he wanted to represent the truly poor and marginalized in the Senate.
If elected, Ocampo said that he would uplift the economic condition and dignity of the poor, focus on genuine agrarian reform, and increase transparency and accountability in government.
"As a journalist, social activist, and lawmaker, I have dedicated the best years of my life to fighting for truth, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace. But the struggle continues and so must I continue to give my all for our people and our beloved country," he said.
Maza, 52, was a development worker and a leader of the women?s movement in the country before she won a seat in the congress.