'That's her prerogative': Colmenares says no ill feelings after non-inclusion in Robredo senate ticket | Inquirer News
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‘That’s her prerogative’: Colmenares says no ill feelings after non-inclusion in Robredo senate ticket

/ 06:03 PM October 15, 2021

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares. SENATE FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial candidate and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares is taking in stride his non-inclusion in the senatorial slate of Vice President Leni Robredo for the 2022 elections, saying this will not distract him in pushing for people’s agenda.

While he may be on the senatorial lineup of other parties, the activist politician gave assurance that alliances aside, the end goal was still to end the “tyrannical reign” of President Rodrigo Duterte.

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“My resolve to run for the Senate is based on the need to give the poor and marginalized a strong voice in the legislature. We in Makabayan have always relied on the support of various groups and the people for progressive and pro-people independent candidates like me,” Colmenares said Friday.

“I would like to assure the people that Makabayan will not be distracted from its quest to write finis to the tyrannical reign of Pres. Duterte. We will employ our 3.5 million voter base, our national campaign machinery, our social media warriors, and poll watchers nationwide to push for the people’s agenda in the Senate and oppose the efforts of Duterte and Marcos to return to Malacañang,” he added.

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Colmenares was not immediately in Robredo’s senatorial list, though the presidential aspirant earlier admitted that the party-list leader is one of the individuals they are considering to complete the slate, as they only have 11 candidates as of now.

Still, Colmenares said he understood why Robredo opted to pick that way, as it may be what she thought was best for the interest of her presidential candidacy.

“Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision on who to include in her senatorial slate is her prerogative as the presidential candidate. My non-inclusion in her slate at this time is based on what she thinks is best for the interest of her candidacy,” Colmenares said.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Justice Antonio Carpio and 1Sambayan for including me in their senatorial slate,” he added.

Last October 7, Robredo broke months-long speculations about her possible candidacy, announcing her intention to run for president. Later that day, she filed her certificate of candidacy, indicating that she would run as an independent candidate as a testament to her goal of a unified opposition slate.

On Wednesday, Colmenares and other sources confirmed to INQUIRER.net that he and labor leader Sonny Matula are currently in talks with Robredo’s camp about a possible inclusion to her Senate slate.

But earlier, in a press conference, Robredo announced 11 names without Colmenares or Matula — which means one of them might not be included.

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During the briefing, Robredo said that she prefers the last slot for the Senate ticket be given to a person that really represents the marginalized sector.

The following candidates have been given a slot in Robredo’s ticket:

  • Senator Leila de Lima
  • Senator Risa Hontiveros
  • Senator Joel Villanueva
  • Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Senator Richard Gordon
  • former Senator Sonny Trillanes
  • former Senator Francis Escudero
  • former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat
  • former vice president Jejomar Binay
  • author and poet Alex Lacson
  • and, law dean Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno

No decision yet for Makabayan

In a separate statement, the Makabayan coalition clarified that it has not yet endorsed any presidential candidate as of posting time, urging the public to be on guard against possible twisted statements that do not reflect the coalition’s stand.

However, they maintained that they will be ready to work with candidates who are making a stand against President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration or the return of Marcoses to Malacañang through former senator Bongbong Marcos.

“The Makabayan coalition has not declared support for any presidential candidate at this time. We ask the public to be wary of statements, including outright lies and intrigue, made in our behalf by unauthorized parties,” Makabayan said.

“We are ready to work with candidates who have taken a clear stand against the perpetuation of tyrannical rule through a Duterte or Marcos presidency, and support continuing efforts to unite the democratic forces to ensure victory in the coming elections,” it added.

Makabayan’s slate for the 2022 national elections features a mixture of veteran representatives and new faces, with former lawmakers Teddy Casiño, Rafael Mariano, and Antonio Tinio making a return bid to Congress.

Aside from Colmenares, another senatorial candidate from the Makabayan is Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog.

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TAGS: #2022candidates, #VotePH2022, Bayan Muna, Makabayan Coalition, Neri Colmenares, opposition coalition, senatorial race, Vice President Leni Robredo
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