Angel Locsin, others support calls for Colmenares’ senate bid
Video by Ryan Leagogo/INQUIRER.net
Actress Angel Locsin has expressed her support to various calls for Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares to run as senator in the 2016 national elections.
In a statement read by her sister Ella Colmenares-Sabino in a press conference on Tuesday, Locsin said Colmenares has “consistently fought for the interest of the masses.”
“Not only for nine years of being a representative of the Bayan Muna Partylist in Congress that he has been the voice of the poor and the marginalized sectors; way back in Marcos’ time, he consistently fought for the interests of the masses,” Locsin said.
The actress was among the various personalities and leaders who gathered on Tuesday to urge Colmenares to run for a senate seat come May 2016.
Locsin said Colmenares has been known to fight for the “common tao” or the ordinary citizen including just wages better working conditions of workers, genuine land reform, lower power rates, lower taxes & better services for health, education, senior citizen benefits, among others.
The actress pointed out the strong sense of nationalism of Colmenares with his stand for national sovereignity.
Colmenares has led ptotests against the Chinese invasion over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), which has caused maritime disute not only with the Philippines but with our neighbor countries.
The lawmaker was also critical against the Philippines’ Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement United States, which threatens the country’s sovereignity.
“That’s why I belive that we need the likes of ‘Kuya Neri’ in the senate and in the government,” Locsin said.
She said the public should vote someone who represents the masses “instead of opportunist traditional politicians belonging to dynasties and with big business interests.”
“Tangkilin po natin ang bagong pulitika para po sa bagong pag-asa (Let’s patronize new politics for new hope),” she said.
Fighting for Women’s, LGBT Rights
Stage actress and women’s rights activists Monique Wilson also expressed her support to Colmenares.
Wilson said Colmenares has been a defender of women’s rights abused through sexual violence, rape and economic violence among others.
She said women in the country have been victims of economic violence but it seems that the government have neglected them.
She cited the increasing statistics of thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who leave the country to work abroad but became victims of human and drug trafficking and abuse by employers overseas.
“Kung wala po tayong isang senador na tumitingin sa halaga at urgency ng mga issues ng ating mga kababaihan hindi iiba yung statistics na yun mas lalala pa siya (If we don’t have one senator who looks at the urgency of women issues, the statistics won’t change but it will get worse),” she said.
Ladlad chair Bemz Benedito also conveyed the support of lesbians, gays and transgenders to Colmenares.
Benedito said Colmenares is a staunch supporter against discrimination in the LGBT community.
“Ang hanay po ng LGBT ay matagal na pong marginalized, underprivileged, at wala pong kakampi sa Senado (The ranks of LGBT have long been marginalized, underprivileged and we don’t have any ally in the Senate),” he said, adding that Colmenares would be their voice in the senate.
Principled lawyer, lawmaker
Colmenares who was the founding secretary of the National Union for People’s Lawyers (NUPL) also got the support from the lawyers’ group.
Lawyer Edre Olalia, secretary general of NUPL, said Colmenares was “admired and respected by all lawyers.”
Colmenares, he said, has a sterling record as a lawyer and as a lawmker during her nine years as a party-list representative at the House of Representatives.
He said the lawmaker is an example of lawyer “that money cannot buy.”
Former Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño said Colmenares is “seriously considering” to run as senator but admitted the “lack of resources” is a great factor in his senate run.
He said Colmenares does not have financial backing and the machinery of traditional politicians.
“Ang pinakamalaking balakid niya ay ang kawalan ng resources. Napakagastos kasi tumakbo sa senado (The biggest hurdle for him is lack of resources. It’s very expensive to run for the Senate),” Casiño said.
But Casiño admitted that the lack of resources could be overcome with the overwhelming support from various sectors of society.
“Ang magpapanalo kay Neri ay ang mamamayan mismo. He is the people’s candidate. He is the people’s senator,” he said.
The National Union of Students of the Philippines also expressed their support to Colmenares as well as labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno.
Folk rock musicians Gary Granada and Chikoy Pura also attended the event to show support to Colmenares.
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