Colmenares finds new friends in old foes

Reinier Ramones,

Posted at Oct 11 2015 11:55 AM | Updated as of Oct 11 2015 07:55 PM

MANILA - Sometimes, elections mean forging new friendships.

This is the case for Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, who saw old political foes turn into new allies.

Colmenares has been endorsed by former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada, as well as by the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC). He however insists this came without condition.

"So in this case President Estrada expressed his support and no strings attached naman. And that was good naman sa kaniya that he transcended the differences we had," Colmenares said in an interview with Lynda Jumilla on ANC's Beyond Politics.

Colmenares, whose progressive group Bayan Muna actively pushed for Estrada's ouster in 2001, claimed the former President "believes he would be a good senator" as he brushed aside their past.

"We viewed EDSA Dos differently. But despite those differences, ang sabi niya, I believe in your integrity and consistency," he said.

READ: 'Past is past': Erap endorses senatorial bid of Colmenares

A member of the Makabyan bloc at the House of Representatives, Colmenares is likely to run with Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero's tandem in the upcoming polls.

"Personally, I'm inclined to support Senator Grace Poe," he said.

READ: Makabayan lawmaker announces senatorial bid

Colmenares added that the NPC's support during the launch of his candidacy is in view of his pro-poor goals, citing the party president and Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao's speech that underscored his bills for tax cut on electricity, fuel and workers' income.

"It took them some time to study the bills and they felt that the bills were good for the people, probably good for them." Colmenares said.

"I guess that also explained why the NPC expressed its support. At maganda naman na issue-based ang kanilang support in the same manner that if ever we support a candidate, it will be platform based din," the lawmaker added.

Amid forming alliances for the elections, Colmenares claimed that the Makabayan coalition remains uncommitted to any political interest that will put the public's welfare behind.

"Kahit sinong presidente in the end 'yung i-endorse namin, Makabayan will always be independent. I will never be dictated upon by any presidentiable if it's against the interest of the people," Colmenares said.

"Ang hinihingi kong trust sa mga tao is to trust in my integrity and capacity to fight for their welfare and interest whoever the president I will ultimately support," he added.