MANILA - The wife of activist Satur Ocampo criticized Saturday the arrest of her husband on charges of kidnapping and human trafficking.
Ocampo, a former Bayan Muna party-list lawmaker, along with ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro were charged Friday with kidnapping and human trafficking over the transport of minors in Davao del Norte.
"Lahat ng marinig ko, nagtatawanan mga tao pero we have to do more than laugh at the absurdities of our government," Ocampo's wife Carolina Malay told reporters in a press conference.
(Everyone is laughing at the absurdities of our government but we have to do more than just laugh.)
Ocampo, Castro, and 15 others were stopped at a police checkpoint in Talaingod town around 10 p.m. on Wednesday after they were found carrying 14 minors who are reportedly students of the Salugpungan Learning Center, a school for Lumad children.
The group failed to present documents of parental consent for the minors, said Senior Insp. Alarene Fulache, chief of the Women and Children's Protection Desk of the Davao del Norte Provincial Police.
Ocampo's camp denied the kidnapping and trafficking allegations, saying they were simply delivering school supplies and food to the community as part of their "National Solidarity Mission."
Malay called her husband's arrest a "familiar situation," citing Ocampo's earlier arrests. Ocampo was detained during martial law and also faced rebellion charges in 2006 for alleged involvement in a coup attempt against then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
"This is such a familiar situation from the Marcos dictatorship. Medyo sanay na rin kami (We're used to it). Satur can hack it. He's a strong man and firm in his principles," she said.
"Confident naman kami na matatapos din ito," she added.
(We are confident that this will end.)