Colmenares welcomes Pacquiao, Leody de Guzman endorsement in 2022 elections

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2021 12:46 PM

Neri Colmenares files his certificate of candidacy for senator at the Harbor Garden tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 7, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Neri Colmenares files his certificate of candidacy for senator at the Harbor Garden tent of the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City on October 7, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

VP Leni camp eyes one more senatorial candidate

MANILA - Former partylist lawmaker Neri Colmenares on Sunday welcomed his inclusion in the senatorial slates of presidential aspirants Senator Manny Pacquiao and Leody de Guzman.

Colmenares made the remark after his non-inclusion in the 11-strong senatorial lineup of Vice President Leni Robredo, which her spokesman said has yet to be completed. Robredo is also eyeing the presidency in the May 2022 polls.

The Makabayan bloc chairman earlier said former senator Antonio Trillanes IV wanted him out of Robredo's Senate slate and that the bloc missed the chance of consulting with the presidential bet.

"This endorsement and expression of support for me and KMU Chairman Elmer Labog, is a sign that he recognizes the need for candidates in the Senate that will push for the legislative agenda of workers, the farmers and the marginalized sectors in our country today," Colmenares said of Pacquiao.

"The recognition and support of a presidential candidate, like Sen. Pacquiao, is very important for candidates like me who rely on the support of ordinary Filipinos in our campaign. We value such unconditional endorsement."

He also thanked labor leader de Guzman for his endorsement.

"Ka Leody and I were senatorial candidates of Labor Win in 2019, and we fought hard against contractualization and violations of workers right," Colmenares said.

"While we continue to push for the unification of the opposition in the country to defeat the efforts of Duterte and Marcos to return to Malacanang in 2022, the inclusion of pro-people candidates in the senatorial slates of different presidential candidates is certainly a very positive development," he added.

Robredo and her camp is still considering 4 to 5 candidates for the last slot of her senatorial slate, said her spokesman Barry Gutierrez.

"Napakaklaro nito sa naging pahayag ni VP Leni nung Biyernes. Bubuuin pa, meron pang isang slot. Ang gusto nga niyang makuhang kandidato sa panghuli at pang-number 12 na slot sa Senate slate ay yung kumakatawan sa marginalized," Gutierrez said during the Vice President's weekly radio program.

(It was clear in VP leni's statement last Friday, there's still one more slot. She wants the 12th candidate to represent the marginalized.)

"Hintayin natin, meron pang i-a-announce na isa pang magiging kandidato. Sa puntong ito, mahirap na pinagungunahan. 'Yung iba kasi, kung magsalita, parang tapos na."

(Let's wait, there's still one more candidate to be announced. At this point, its hard to preempt. Some are acting as if it's done.)

Colmenares, a former Bayan Muna party-list representative and current chairman of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers, finished outside the top 20 in a losing senatorial bid in 2019.