Colmenares denies Makabayan is supporting Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines — Former lawmaker and senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares on Thursday disputed the claims of House Deputy Speaker and Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza that the Makabayan coalition has expressed support for presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Atienza is running as vice president alongside Pacquiao under his faction of the PDP-Laban party. Colmenares, Bayan Muna chairperson, meanwhile, is being fielded by the Makabayan bloc.
Colmenares, however, said Atienza’s claims about the progression coalition were untrue.
“Not true. Makabayan has not declared support for any candidate,” Colmenares said in a short message on Thursday.
At a forum earlier, Atienza was heard saying that “they (Makabayan) have already endorsed Manny Pacquiao.”
“Yesterday we met. Neri was not there but I know Neri very well, he’s a good person, noon pa kinampanya ko na ‘yan even before. Now I’m happy he’s in the ticket, and I hope he wins this time because we need him,” Atienza said.
“Neri has a good mind,” he added.
Atienza also clarified in later interviews that Makabayan leaders were present in the Wednesday meeting, where they expressed support to their tandem.
Makabayan claimed in the past that it is still in talks with various parties about their platform, to determine which candidates it would support in the 2022 national elections.
Recently, the coalition was questioned why it has not yet thrown its support to Vice President Leni Robredo when their supporters have been seeking a spot for Colmenares at her Senate slate.
Colmenares was left out of Robredo’s Senate slate, but she also clarified that the Bayan Muna official is being considered for the 12th and last spot.
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