There are no permanent friends or foes in politics.
This adage was once again proven right after Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada endorsed the senatorial bid of Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares.
“Congressman Neri is the first candidate I endorse for the Senate because I believe in him and his visions for our country,” said Estrada during the 3rd national convention of the Makabayan bloc at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila.
The Makabayan bloc is composed of progressive party-list groups and organizations that include Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women’s Party-list, ACT Teachers, Kabataan, Piston, Migrante, Sulong Katribu, Courage and Suara Bangsamoro.
These groups were at the forefront of anti-Estrada protests in 2000 that led to then-president’s impeachment and eventual ouster during the so-called EDSA Dos in January 2001.
Colmenares was general counsel of Bayan Muna at the time.
Estrada, in his speech, cited the congressman’s advocacies, which include lowering of power rates and campaign against corruption, pork barrel and other pro-people issues.
Moreover, he acknowledged the presence of Makabayan stalwarts former Representatives Satur Ocampo, Liza Masa, Rafael Mariano and Teodoro Casiño, who over a decade ago despised him for his alleged links to corruption and for ordering an all-out war against Muslim separatists, among other issues.
“I’m honored that you’re holding this [convention]in Manila. I expect that you can now complete the platform of your organization,” Estrada said.
Pre-election survey frontrunner Sen. Grace Poe and her presumptive running mate, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, also attended the event and announced Colmenares’ inclusion in their senatorial ticket.
“Karangalan ko po na maendorso si Congressman Neri Colmenares sa pagka-senador [It is my honor to endorse Congressman Neri Colmenares],” Poe said.
She also expressed gratitude of being able to have Colmenares as an ally on her advocacy to protect children from malnutrition.
In her speech, Poe enumerated her dreams and vision for the country and her hope to be key in providing Filipinos a productive and dignified life.
“I also want to give Filipinos a chance to live in a progressive, peaceful and safe community,” she said.
Poe added that her vision is anchored on three extensive strategies–inclusive growth, government transparency and global competitiveness.|
If given a chance to lead the country, she said, she will give priority to nationalist industrialization, agriculture, education, health, human rights and people’s participation.