MANILA (UPDATED)— Senatorial aspirant and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares on Friday said the Makabayan coalition is supporting the candidacies of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo and running mate Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan.
Colmenares made the declaration on Friday during the opposition coalition 1Sambayan’s virtual launch of its senatorial lineup and campaign kick-off.
He noted that the unified position of Makabayan was based on various issues such as COVID-19 pandemic response, the plight of marginalized sectors, environment, human rights, sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea.
“Nais kong ipahayag sa ngalan ng aming partido, ang Makabayan coalition, ang aming pag-endorso at malakas na suporta kay VP Leni Robredo bilang kandidato sa pagka-Pangulo ng Pilipinas at kay Senator Kiko Pangiinan bilang Vice President,” he said.
Colmenares was also chosen as the 8th candidate of 1Sambayan in its senatorial ticket.
1Sambayan earlier said that among the primary considerations for their endorsement of senatorial candidates is their public endorsement of Robredo and Pangilinan.
“Isang malaking karangalan sa akin na mapili bilang isa sa mga senatorial candidates ng 1Sambayan. Malugod ko pong tinatanggap ang karangalang ito. Hindi po kayo mabibigo. Sa inyong suporta, kayang-kaya at kakayanin ko pong maging tapat na boses ng karaniwang tao sa Senado,” Colmenares said.
Before the inclusion of Colmenares in 1Sambayan’s senatorial ticket, the coalition declared support for re-electionist senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, as well as former senator Sonny Trillanes, former Ifugao representative Teddy Baguilat Jr, lawyers Chel Diokno and Alex Lacson, and labor leader Sonny Matula.
The virtual launch hosted by standup comedian Alex Calleja was also a fund-raising event for the campaign of the opposition coalition for the May polls.
Various artists such as National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab and singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid performed during the program.
“Kami po ay kumakatok sa inyong mga puso, sana po ay tulungan ninyo po ang ating mga kandidato lalong-lalo na ang ating presidential aspirant na si VP Leni. Alam naman po natin ang kanyang kakayahan, alam natin ang kanyang kredibilidad pero kailangang-kailangan niya po ang ating tulong, ang ating dasal at ating sama-samang pagpapakalat ng mahahalagang impormasyon, mahahalagang detalye sa lahat ng na-accomplish ni VP Leni,” Alcasid said.
In a recorded video message during the program, Robredo thanked 1Sambayan for continuing to be a platform to unite various groups from the opposition.
“Sari-saring pananaw at adbokasiya at hindi natin inaakala na pwede tayong magsasama-sama ng ganito bilang isang grupo, pero napatunayan natin, binibigkis tayo ng iisang pangarap at pagmamahal natin para sa bansa,” Robredo said.
In a statement released on Saturday by Barry Gutierrez, the Office of the Vice President spokesman, Robredo and Pangilinan said they were ready to work with Makabayan.