Colmenares respects Robredo’s decision, says unity coalition still opposition’s primary goal


MANILA, Philippines — Longtime activist and former Bayan Muna lawmaker Neri Colmenares said that he respects the decision made by Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday, after another candidate was named to complete her senatorial slate.

Colmenares stressed on Friday that the goal for the opposition remains the same regardless if he is in or out of Robredo’s slate: unite all democratic forces against the possible coalition between the forces under President Rodrigo Duterte and late dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos.


“I respect VP Leni Robredo’s decision regarding her senatorial slate. As I said in my earlier statement, these are decisions that are hers to make,” Colmenares said in a statement.

“My non-inclusion in her slate does not preclude us from continuing engagement and cooperation with her campaign on urgent issues that concern our people. The most urgent of these issues is preventing a Marcos restoration and a Duterte extension amid the continuing pandemic and the worsening crisis in the country,” he added.

According to Colmenares, he still hopes that despite the differences of presidential candidates perceived to be part of the opposition — Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and Senator Manny Pacquiao — there can be a way for them to unite and form a single slate.

“I reiterate my call on the broad democratic forces to unite against the emerging Marcos-Duterte alliance. Our differences notwithstanding, let us not lose sight of the bigger fight before us,” he said.

“It is my hope that we continue to work together to defeat the forces of tyranny and corruption,” he added.

Prior to Robredo’s declaration of candidacy, Colmenares has been adamant that the way to defeat a looming Duterte-Marcos alliance — through Duterte’s daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Marcos Sr.’s son, former senator Bongbong Marcos.

Marcos is running for president in the 2022 national elections, while Duterte-Carpio is not vying for any national post. However, there are rumors that a possible substitution scenario may play out, catapulting the Davao City Mayor to a national campaign.


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On Friday, Robredo announced that he is supporting the candidacy of labor leader and lawyer Sonny Matula, completing the line-up under the tandem between her and Senator Francis Pangilinan.

Robredo’s decision came a week after she left the 12th spot open for the marginalized sector. Prior to that, it was reported that Colmenares and Matula were in discussions with Robredo’s camp.


Labor leader Sonny Matula completes Robredo’s senatorial slate

Robredo’s decision to pick Matula came after the Alliance of Labor Leaders for Leni (All4Leni) expressed support for Robredo’s platform, and urged her to pick the labor leader to widen the representation in her Senate slate.


Labor leaders backing Robredo seek Sonny Matula’s inclusion in Senate slate

As of now, Colmenares’ Makabayan coalition has not yet announced the candidate that they will support, but Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza said on Thursday that the leftist organization has already backed his running mate, Pacquiao.

Colmenares denied such claims, saying that they are still in the process of deliberating whom to support.


Colmenares denies Makabayan is supporting Pacquiao


Colmenares: Talks with presidential bets needed to justify our choice

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