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Neri Colmenares to join Senate race in 2022 polls

Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Former Bayan Muna representative and rights lawyer Neri Colmenares on Thursday said he will join the Senate race in the 2022 polls.

Colmenares said in an interview with ANC Rundown that he will make another bid to join the Senate next year. “The officers, leaders of Makabayan have decided that I will run,” he said.

“I will run for a Senate seat in 2022 if only to deliver the sharpest message of critique to the candidate of President [Rodrigo] Duterte,” he added.

Colmenares ran but lost in the 2019 midterm elections, coming in as 24th with more than 4.6 million votes.

He is currently the chairman of the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers and is one of the legal counsels of kin of “drug war” victims that ran to the International Criminal Court to accuse Duterte of crimes against humanity. He also served as one of the counsels and oralists in the debates at the Supreme Court on petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Colmenares also stressed that they believe that to win in the coming polls, it is important to win over supporters of the president, and he would do that during senatorial debates and campaign.

For this period, he said: “We have to deliver that message to explain to people that Duterte was the not messiah he pretended to be, that Duterte is nothing more than another Trapo (traditional politician) who makes promises to get votes but refuses to deliver them.”

Colmenares said his legislative agenda would include causes championed by the Makabayan bloc such as pushing for higher wages for workers, genuine agrarian reform, protecting the West Philippine Sea, and a COVID-19 response that is “really responsive to the needs of the people.”

The Commission on Elections is set to start accepting certificates of candidacy on October 1, a day after it closes voter registration — although sectors, including lawmakers, have been pressing the poll agency to extend sign-ups. — Kristine Joy Patag

2022 POLLS NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLES LAWYERS NERI COLMENARES RODRIGO DUTERTE
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