MANILA - Former Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares on Thursday filed his certificate of candidacy for senator, his second crack at the post after losing in 2016.
Colmenares, a human rights lawyer and activist, said his stand against the government’s Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, which led to the increase of basic goods, will help increase his chances of winning a Senate seat.
“With the economic issues today, people will really vote against those who said 'Yes' to the TRAIN Law,” he said.
He is also banking on the social media presence of the left-leaning Makabayan coalition.
The Makabayan bloc is composed of socio-civic party-lists including Bayan Muna, Gabiela, Anak-Pawis and ACT Teachers Party-lists.
The groups alleged communist affiliation will not affect Colmenares’ bid, former social welfare secretary Judy Taguiwalo told reporters.
“They have been Red-tagging Makabayan since [the administration of] Gloria Macapagal Arroyo [but] there is no affiliation of Makabayan with the Reds, Makabayan is a duly registered organization,” she said.
They can “call us names,” but at the end of the day Colmenares’ track record will speak for itself, she said.
He served as a House member for 3 consecutive terms until 2016. He co-authored measures that sought an increase in pension for Social Security System members and the sending of free mobile disaster alerts to the public.
Colmenares arrived at the Commission on Elections with a marching band and speakers blasting his campaign jingle. He was accompanied by Taguiwalo, former Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo and ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio.