MABALACAT -- Bayan Muna Representative Satur Ocampo, who is running for senator under the Nacionalista Party (NP), has stressed the need for the government to support the farmers.

Ocampo made the statement during a visit at the residence of mayoralty bet Marjorie Morales-Sambo Saturday night.

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The government, he said, should prioritize programs on agriculture.

“We should have the capability to produce our own food despite the high production cost,” said Ocampo.

He added that farmers are selling their farmlands and leaving their places because the government is not supporting the agriculture sector.

“Makananu yang talakad keng sarili na ing bansang e na man apalto ing sarili ng pamangan (How can a country stand on its own if it cannot even produce its own food),” he said.

Ocampo, a native of Santa Rita, Pampanga, even hit government officials who are promoting the importation of rice.

The Bayan Muna representative said their slate under the leadership of Manny Villar and Loren Legarda will work for the cause of the marginalized sector of the society and the farmers.

“Mikasundo kaming Manny Villar at Loren Legarda keng pamanyulung ning kapakanan da reng pakakalulu at ortelanu (Manny Villar, Loren Legarda and I have agreed to uphold the welfare of the farmers),” he said.

Ocampo also vowed to help the farmers in Pampanga, considering that the province was once called as the rice granary of the Philippines.

“Anak kung ortelanu at i inang ku, dinalan neng banwa, angga ngeni atyu pa keng gabun at eya bisang mako karin (I’m a son of a farmer and until now my mother, who is 100 years old, is still in the soil and she won’t leave it),” Ocampo said.

Other personalities who welcomed Ocampo were Pampanga fourth district Representative Anna York Bondoc, former fourth district congressman Rimpy Bondoc, former fourth district board member Nestor Tolentino, Magalang mayoralty candidate Lyndon Cunanan, and Candaba mayoralty aspirant Andy Gulapa, among others.

Rimpy Bondoc and Sambo vowed to support Ocampo’s candidacy and platforms of government. The two also pledged support to Bayan Muna and Kabataan party-list groups.

Meanwhile, Sambo said Villar will visit her residence on March 12 to speak before townsfolk.