Trillanes raises past Makabayan 'deceit' in qualms about Colmenares' inclusion in Robredo slate | Inquirer News
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Trillanes raises past Makabayan ‘deceit’ in qualms about Colmenares’ inclusion in Robredo slate

/ 01:16 PM October 18, 2021
FILE PHOTO Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares

FILE PHOTO Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares

MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Monday made known his reservations about the inclusion of former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares in the senatorial slate of Vice President Leni Robredo, citing the Makabayan bloc’s supposed history of deceit.

Trillanes, who is seeking a return to the Senate also under Robredo’s slate, made a lengthy post on social media about the Magdalo party’s stand on different issues, including the non-inclusion of Colmenares in the line-up.

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He claimed that historically, Makabayan was not concerned about what was best for the country, and that activists within the progressive organization were only looking after their own interests.

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“Historically, hindi para sa ikabubuti ng bansa ang consideration nila kundi kung saan sila pinakamakikinabang para maitulak ang interes ng kanilang grupo. Kaya nga nagboycott sila nung 1986, kinalaban si PNoy, at sumanib at nakinabang kay Duterte,” he said.

Trillanes, whose Magdalo group composed of retired military officers had been at odds with the leftist organization, cited an experience in the 2016 campaign wherein Colmenares was part of the ticket of then presidential candidate, Sen. Grade Poe, but the latter’s colleagues were supporting another candidate, then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

He further said that Makabayan had also fought former President Benigno Aquino III, and had joined Duterte when it suited them.

“Sinabi ko ang hindi magandang experience namin sa kanila nung 2016 kung saan isinama si Neri sa slate ni Sen. Grace Poe pero sa ground ay si Duterte naman ang kinampanya ng Makabayan,” he claimed.

Colmenares’ non-inclusion from Robredo’s slate, despite the latter’s efforts to unite the opposition, was a hot topic throughout the weekend as netizens debated on whether the former lawmaker should be part of it.

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In a statement, Colmenares said that he understood Robredo’s decision as it might be what is needed at this time for her candidacy.

Makabayan claimed that “we never got the chance to hear the objections to Neri’s inclusion nor were we given a chance to respond.”

“We can only speculate that there are objections coming from some of her supporters representing big business interests, militarists or even politicians who are at odds with Makabayan over various issues,” the coalition said.

While Colmenares has maintained that he sided with Poe throughout the campaign, there were several activist groups who pushed for Duterte’s candidacy, considering the human rights lawyer’s relations with the left and even the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Several leftist leaders also got cabinet spots under Duterte’s administration, but they eventually left their posts in protest of the drug war and other issues like former president Ferdinand Marcos’ burial before the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and an anti-left stance by Duterte’s government.

But aside from being initially allied with Duterte, Trillanes also pointed out that the five 1Sambayan coalition conveners from Makabayan did not vote for Robredo, and instead showed inclination to another presidential candidate, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

“Inilahad ko rin ang mga pangyayari sa loob ng 1Sambayan na kung saan lahat ng 5 convenors ng Makabayan ay hindi bumoto kay VP Leni, at ang obvious na pagkiling nila para kay Isko Moreno,” Trillanes claimed.

“Ang bottomline is, hanggang ngayon, hindi pa sila nagdedeklara ng suporta kay VP Leni. Iba sila,” he added.

On Binay, Gordon

According to Trillanes, he was also consulted before Senator Richard Gordon and former vice president Jejomar Binay was picked for Robredo’s Senate slate — to which he expressed reservations.

Both Gordon and Binay have figured in a spat with Trillanes in the past, but the latter said that he let the selection committee decide on the issue.

“Para maliwanag, hindi ako kasama sa selection committee na pumili ng mga isasama sa Senate slate. Pero aaminin ko na ako ay nakonsulta sa pagsama kina Binay at Gordon. Nag-express ako ng mga reservations pero sa huli ay sinabi ko na ipapaubaya ko sa kanila ang desisyon kung ano sa paniniwala nila ang pinaka-ikakabuti sa kampanya ni VP Leni,” he said.

“Gaya ng sabi ko, ang number 1 mission ng Magdalo ay ang pagpanalo ni VP Leni. Ganunpaman, walang magbabago sa mga kasong nililitis sa korte laban kay Binay at kasama pa rin si Gordon sa kaso sa ICC,” he added.

Last Friday, Robredo announced her Senate slate which featured eleven names.  As a last spot was still left open, the Vice President admitted that Colmenares is one of the personalities being considered.

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

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 national elections, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Makabayan Coalition, Neri Colmenares, opposition coalition, senatorial race, Vice President Leni Robredo
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