ILOILO CITY, Philippines – In the places where lawyer and former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares traces his roots, he found support from local chief executives to advance his 2022 senatorial bid.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas told Rappler via text that he was indeed endorsing Colmenares, after the former colleagues met at the Iloilo City Hall on Thursday, February 10.
“He is a good friend and former colleague in the House of Representatives. He is an Ilonggo and is a man of integrity,” Treñas said.
The mayor also put out a statement in his official Facebook page, expressing his “joy” over another Ilonggo fighting for people’s causes.
“Isa guid ka suod nga abyan si Neri Colmenares nga nagbisita sa akon opisina subong nga adlaw. Nalipay guid ako nga may kapareho ako nga Ilonggo nga nagapadayon sang kawsa nga magbulig sa mga pumuluyo,” the mayor said in his statement.
(Neri Colmenares is a true friend who visited my office today [February 10]. I am happy that I have an Ilonggo equal who will continue causes which will help the people.)
Treñas and Colmenares were colleagues in the 15th and 16th Congresses from 2010 to 2016, when the former was still the city’s lone district representative.
Both were also detainees under the Marcos regime, the mayor in 1978 as a member of the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas, and the lawyer in 1983 as a youth organizer.
Treñas and Colmenares are also campaigning for Vice President and presidential candidate Leni Robredo and her running mate Senator Kiko Pangilinan.
In Bacolod City, Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, both running for reelection, and their congressional candidate Dan Atayde, as well as their Team ABEL and Grupo Progreso, voiced their support for Colmenares on Wednesday, February 9.
Colmenares, in behalf of the Makabayan bloc, also endorsed Team ABEL and Grupo Progreso for Bacolod City positions.
Leonardia thanked his former House colleague in the 16th Congress, expressing a high regard for the endorsement.
“This is a major political development in the run-up to the official start of the campaign period for local elections [in late March]. We highly appreciate the Makabayan bloc’s continued support to the GP slate,” Leonardia said in a ceremony at the Mansilingan Gym.
Makabayan Bloc coordinator Butch Lozende warned Bacolodnons “not to fall into the trap” of the mayor’s rival, former Negros Occidental representative Albee Benitez.
“I am saying this because I know him. I am a native of Victorias [City]. Over the years, he tried to project himself as the savior of the world. When, in fact, he is all promises. Do not fall into that trap,” Lozande said.
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