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FROM ABS-CBN HOMETOWN NEWS (OPINION PAGE UNAVAILABLE)

BAYAN MUNA LAWMAKER COLMENARES ANNOUNCES SENATORIAL BID


Congressman Neri Colmenares raises his hand as Mayor Joseph Estrada (on stage) announces his support for Colmenares during the Makabayan National Convention held at San Andres Coliseum in Manila on Wednesday. Colmenares is running for a Senate seat in 2016. Photo: ABS-CBN News  Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares has announced his bid for a seat in the 24-member Senate, laying down a platform of government that includes industrializing the country and distributing land for free to farmers. Colmenares, a member of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives, also denounced the Aquino administration for what he called a deceitful platform.
In front of a cheering crowd at the 3rd Makabayan National Convention, Colmenares said it is time for a "politics of change." "Panahon nang magkaroon ng militanteng boses ang mahihirap sa Senado. Panahon nang magkaroon ng fighter ng bayan sa Senado (It is time for the poor to have a militant voice in the Senate. It is time to have the country's fighter in the Senate)," he said. "Narito ako. Gawin ninyo akong boses ninyo sa Senado ngayon na (I am here. Make me your voice in the Senate)." Makabayan is a coalition of progressive parties critical of the Aquino administration and those before it. It is composed of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women's Party-list, ACT Teachers, Kabataan, Piston, Migrante, Sulong Katribu, Courage, and Suara Bangsamoro. In his speech, Colmenares promised to push for land reform that would benefit farmers, banning the contractualization of workers, developing Philippine industries, passing the anti-political dynasty and Freedom of Information Bills into law, and rejecting the economic advice of groups like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He also said he would adopt a nationalistic stance, from lawmaking to foreign affairs, stressing that the country's agreements with the US such as the Visiting Forces Agreement need to be junked. READ MORE...

ALSO 'Past is past': Erap endorses senatorial bid of Colmenares


Erap not yet supporting any presidential candidate
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has thrown his support behind the senatorial candidacy of Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, who belongs to a group that actively called for his ouster as president 14 years ago. Estrada, who often faced protests by progressive groups when he was president, said Colmenares is the first senatorial candidate in the 2016 elections that he is endorsing.
Estrada cited Colmenares's achievements, including stopping an increase in electricity rates. "I believe in him and his vision for the country. Ang mga katulad ni Neri ang kailangan natin sa Senado (We need the likes of Neri at the Senate)," Estrada told the crowd at the 3rd Makabayan National Congress. "Kongresista pa nga lang ay ang dami nang nagawa ni Neri para sa taumbayan (Neri has already done a lot for our countrymen as a congressman)," he added. "Ano pa kaya 'pag siya'y naging ating senador? (What more once he becomes senator?)" Estrada was ousted as president amid allegations of corruption during the 2nd EDSA People Power Revolution, where groups like Bayan Muna played a part. But the past did not seem to affect the present. Speaking to reporters after his speech, Estrada said, "Past is past. The weak cannot forgive, but forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. I always forgive. I want to remain strong." In his speech, Estrada said he was honored Makabayan chose Manila as venue for its convention. He said he had the San Andres Sports Complex's renovation rushed in time for the event. Estrada heralded his accomplishments when he was president, such as keeping the MRT fare and water rates low. He also defended his declaration of all-out war against Muslim secessionists in Mindanao in 2000 despite widespread criticism. Aside from Colmenares, Estrada is not yet supporting any other candidate in the 2016 elections. Estrada has not yet made a choice among the three politicians who have declared their presidential candidacy, not even those known to be close to him: Vice President Jejomar Binay, his friend and party-mate, and Senator Grace Poe, whose father is his best friend. Besides Binay and Poe, the Liberal Party's Mar Roxas is also running for president. READ MORE...

ALSO: 2016 elections getting messier by the day


The messy political landscape of the 2016 general elections was underscored Tuesday with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's announcement in Davao City he is running for vice president.
Cayetano is a member of the Nacionalista Party (NP) whose other member, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, already bared plans to run for vice president as an independent. Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., also an NP leader, is himself considering a possible run for either the presidency or vice presidency. Trillanes will run as an independent. Cayetano is expected to be the running mate of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Marcos has been eyed by the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as a running mate though the senator remains non-committal. Cayetano himself was supposed to be the other choice of administration Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas to be his running mate in case Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo turns down his invitation. Robredo is still mulling the invitation as her daughters continue to object to plans for the vice presidency. Robredo became Roxas' alternative after Senator Grace Poe decided to run for president herself, with Senator Francis Escudero as her running mate. Both Poe and Escudero are running as independents, expecting the backing of the NP, the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), the National Unity Party (NUP), as well as the progressive Makabayan bloc. They are expected to be proclaimed by Makabayan in a convention on Wednesday. The NP, NUP and NPC remain without presidential candidates though their stalwarts have come out in support of one candidate or another. The NUP met with Marcos, Roxas and Binay on Monday to listen to their platforms. The NPC has met with Poe, Roxas and Binay. NPC STILL VETTING NUP President House Deputy Speaker Robbie Puno said in a statement they have yet to decide. "No set timetable to arrive at a party position. It may take time to get to a consensus, but time might be what it takes to get to a stand that all members can get behind. There is no party decision yet. I would like to think it but natural that NUP members who already have a preferred presidential candidate would attempt to push the party consensus toward his or her preferred candidate as well. The candidates have their own respective campaigners within the party. And that, I guess, is part of the vetting process for NUP," Puno said. NPC spokesperson Rep. Mark Enverga said, "The NPC will come out with a decision shortly. We are just making sure that we do our due diligence properly. We are making sure that the voice of every member is heard and that the consultation process is inclusive... We are hoping we can come out with a decision prior to filing [of certificate of candidacy]. But you're right, we're not compelled by deadline." LP spokesperson Ben Evardone, however, noted some in NPC back Roxas already. LP stalwart Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas added some in NP back Roxas too. Treñas maintained there is a groundswell of interest to join the LP, confident there will be no junking or jumping ship in the homestretch of the campaign. "Junking will happen if the candidate isn't strong, not if the candidate is surging upwards. [We're getting] more inquiries from politicians on the ground for them to join the LP... We are very confident. I think the numbers are doing well. Nag-doble si Sec. Mar from 10 to 20, that's an easy feat to do," he said. "Ang problema sa NP, [it has] three declared VP candidates. Initially, we wanted to preserve the alliance provided they bring in the entire party. Paano kung tatlo kandidato nila? There are several NP stalwarts supporting Secretary Roxas," Evardone added. "If NUP adopts Sec. Mar, that will be great," said Treñas. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Makabayan lawmaker announces senatorial bid

MANILA, OCTOBER 12, 2015 (ABS-CBN) Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News
Posted at 09/30/2015 10:57 PM | Updated as of 09/30/2015 11:27 PM - Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares has announced his bid for a seat in the 24-member Senate, laying down a platform of government that includes industrializing the country and distributing land for free to farmers.

Colmenares, a member of the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives, also denounced the Aquino administration for what he called a deceitful platform.

In front of a cheering crowd at the 3rd Makabayan National Convention, Colmenares said it is time for a "politics of change."

"Panahon nang magkaroon ng militanteng boses ang mahihirap sa Senado. Panahon nang magkaroon ng fighter ng bayan sa Senado (It is time for the poor to have a militant voice in the Senate. It is time to have the country's fighter in the Senate)," he said.

"Narito ako. Gawin ninyo akong boses ninyo sa Senado ngayon na (I am here. Make me your voice in the Senate)."

Makabayan is a coalition of progressive parties critical of the Aquino administration and those before it. It is composed of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women's Party-list, ACT Teachers, Kabataan, Piston, Migrante, Sulong Katribu, Courage, and Suara Bangsamoro.

In his speech, Colmenares promised to push for land reform that would benefit farmers, banning the contractualization of workers, developing Philippine industries, passing the anti-political dynasty and Freedom of Information Bills into law, and rejecting the economic advice of groups like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He also said he would adopt a nationalistic stance, from lawmaking to foreign affairs, stressing that the country's agreements with the US such as the Visiting Forces Agreement need to be junked.

READ MORE...

'DAANG 'DI MATUWID'

For Colmenares, one of President Aquino's most vocal critics at the House, the administration's so-called "daang matuwid" (straight path) is untrue.

He criticized Aquino's government for supposedly failing to curb smuggling, sparing friends in allies in its anti-corruption drive, and for the killings of indigenous peoples in Mindanao by alleged paramilitary forces.

"Malaking panloloko ang daang matuwid. Baluktot ang tinatahak ni Aquino at itutuloy ni Mar Roxas (That straight path is a big fraud. The path Aquino is taking and that Mar Roxas will continue is crooked)," he said.

Colmenares, who is not doing well in popularity polls, is likely to run under the senatorial slate that Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero are forming.

Although Makabayan has not officially thrown its support Poe and Escudero, two independent candidates for president and vice president, Colmenares said the group is heading towards that direction.

"May process lang na dadaanan sa convention (It just has to go through a process at the convention)," Colmenares told reporters. "The fact na only Grace and Chiz among the presidentiables graced our convention shows the inclination of Makabayan coalition (The fact that only Grace and Chiz among other candidates graced our convention shows the inclination of the Makabayan coalition)."

In their speeches at Wednesday's convention, the two senators heaped praises on Colmenares, saying he was perfect for a Senate job.

Escudero said he has worked with Colmenares on many issues, and proven that he has the right principles and desire for change.

Poe noted that she and Makabayan share the same stand on many issues, including the Freedom of Information bill.

"Karangalan ko na ma-endorso si Congressman Neri Colmenares, at karangalan namin ni Senator Chiz na makuha ang tiwala ng Makabayan (It is my honor to endorse Congressman Neri Colmenares, and it is an honor for me and Senator Chiz to get the trust of Makabayan)."


'Past is past': Erap endorses senatorial bid of Colmenares Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News Posted at 09/30/2015 4:55 PM | Updated as of 09/30/2015 5:19 PM


Erap not yet supporting any presidential candidate

MANILA - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has thrown his support behind the senatorial candidacy of Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, who belongs to a group that actively called for his ouster as president 14 years ago.

Estrada, who often faced protests by progressive groups when he was president, said Colmenares is the first senatorial candidate in the 2016 elections that he is endorsing.

Estrada cited Colmenares's achievements, including stopping an increase in electricity rates.

"I believe in him and his vision for the country. Ang mga katulad ni Neri ang kailangan natin sa Senado (We need the likes of Neri at the Senate)," Estrada told the crowd at the 3rd Makabayan National Congress.

"Kongresista pa nga lang ay ang dami nang nagawa ni Neri para sa taumbayan (Neri has already done a lot for our countrymen as a congressman)," he added. "Ano pa kaya 'pag siya'y naging ating senador? (What more once he becomes senator?)"

Estrada was ousted as president amid allegations of corruption during the 2nd EDSA People Power Revolution, where groups like Bayan Muna played a part.

But the past did not seem to affect the present.

Speaking to reporters after his speech, Estrada said, "Past is past. The weak cannot forgive, but forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. I always forgive. I want to remain strong."

In his speech, Estrada said he was honored Makabayan chose Manila as venue for its convention. He said he had the San Andres Sports Complex's renovation rushed in time for the event.

Estrada heralded his accomplishments when he was president, such as keeping the MRT fare and water rates low. He also defended his declaration of all-out war against Muslim secessionists in Mindanao in 2000 despite widespread criticism.

Aside from Colmenares, Estrada is not yet supporting any other candidate in the 2016 elections.

Estrada has not yet made a choice among the three politicians who have declared their presidential candidacy, not even those known to be close to him: Vice President Jejomar Binay, his friend and party-mate, and Senator Grace Poe, whose father is his best friend. Besides Binay and Poe, the Liberal Party's Mar Roxas is also running for president.

READ MORE...

"Wala pa akong nakikita (I haven't found anyone to support)," Estrada told reporters. "Kailangan ilabas muna nila ang plataporma nila (They need to show me their platform first)."

Told that the candidates have already presented their plans, Estrada said those weren't enough for him.

"Ang aking prayoridad, peace and order (My priority is peace and order)," he said.

"There can never be economic growth without peace and order."


2016 elections getting messier by the day RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News Posted at 09/29/2015 10:05 PM | Updated as of 09/30/2015 12:36 AM

MANILA - The messy political landscape of the 2016 general elections was underscored Tuesday with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's announcement in Davao City he is running for vice president.

Cayetano is a member of the Nacionalista Party (NP) whose other member, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, already bared plans to run for vice president as an independent. Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., also an NP leader, is himself considering a possible run for either the presidency or vice presidency.

Trillanes will run as an independent. Cayetano is expected to be the running mate of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Marcos has been eyed by the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as a running mate though the senator remains non-committal.

Cayetano himself was supposed to be the other choice of administration Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas to be his running mate in case Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo turns down his invitation.

Robredo is still mulling the invitation as her daughters continue to object to plans for the vice presidency.

Robredo became Roxas' alternative after Senator Grace Poe decided to run for president herself, with Senator Francis Escudero as her running mate.

Both Poe and Escudero are running as independents, expecting the backing of the NP, the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), the National Unity Party (NUP), as well as the progressive Makabayan bloc. They are expected to be proclaimed by Makabayan in a convention on Wednesday.

The NP, NUP and NPC remain without presidential candidates though their stalwarts have come out in support of one candidate or another.

The NUP met with Marcos, Roxas and Binay on Monday to listen to their platforms. The NPC has met with Poe, Roxas and Binay.

NPC STILL VETTING

NUP President House Deputy Speaker Robbie Puno said in a statement they have yet to decide.

"No set timetable to arrive at a party position. It may take time to get to a consensus, but time might be what it takes to get to a stand that all members can get behind. There is no party decision yet. I would like to think it but natural that NUP members who already have a preferred presidential candidate would attempt to push the party consensus toward his or her preferred candidate as well. The candidates have their own respective campaigners within the party. And that, I guess, is part of the vetting process for NUP," Puno said.

NPC spokesperson Rep. Mark Enverga said, "The NPC will come out with a decision shortly. We are just making sure that we do our due diligence properly. We are making sure that the voice of every member is heard and that the consultation process is inclusive... We are hoping we can come out with a decision prior to filing [of certificate of candidacy]. But you're right, we're not compelled by deadline."

LP spokesperson Ben Evardone, however, noted some in NPC back Roxas already. LP stalwart Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas added some in NP back Roxas too.

Treñas maintained there is a groundswell of interest to join the LP, confident there will be no junking or jumping ship in the homestretch of the campaign.

"Junking will happen if the candidate isn't strong, not if the candidate is surging upwards. [We're getting] more inquiries from politicians on the ground for them to join the LP... We are very confident. I think the numbers are doing well. Nag-doble si Sec. Mar from 10 to 20, that's an easy feat to do," he said.

"Ang problema sa NP, [it has] three declared VP candidates. Initially, we wanted to preserve the alliance provided they bring in the entire party. Paano kung tatlo kandidato nila? There are several NP stalwarts supporting Secretary Roxas," Evardone added.

"If NUP adopts Sec. Mar, that will be great," said Treñas.

READ MORE...

Parties are supposed to provide candidates for national positions the machinery to campaign and secure votes during elections. However, political common sense dictates that parties can only be effective in helping national candidates if their candidates for local positions are not fighting for their political survival. That's why national candidates tend to have a hand in the selection of local candidates.

NO PROBLEM FOR POE-CHIZ

In the case of Poe and Escudero, they are freed from this responsibility. Enverga said, "During their respective launches, the two senators made it clear that for them, this coming election should be about the people and not about political parties."

"Their call for inclusiveness under the ideology of Partido Pilipinas clearly stipulates their desire to put Juan Dela Cruz first above any political entity. I agree with their concept, in fact, I believe that moving this country forward requires unifying everybody towards that common goal. Their style of leadership is inclusive rather than exclusive, it's unifying rather than dividing. Running with the people as their vehicle is an advantage because it will keep them above the political wranglings taking place in the different localities. It will keep them focused on their goal which is every Filipino."

But it does have its drawbacks. Poe and Escudero were disinvited by local executives in Tawi-tawi last Sunday for an event the duo were supposed to attend. The local executives were reportedly members of the LP.

In an election cycle, aside from resources, candidates usually tend to stick to the ruling party to ensure they are not harassed or faced off with resources with the backing of the party in power.

WAVES OF PARTY DEFECTIONS

Political analyst Prospero de Vera, president of the Association of Political Consultants in Asia, last week explained to ABS-CBN that there are several waves of party defections in the run up to the elections.

The first wave is those transferring because of disenchantment with their current party or they want to be noticed by another party so they will have a greater say at who gets drafted as candidates for local positions.

"Maybe they're not perceived anointed of presidentiables. That's why they have to be noticed," De Vera said.

The next wave will be before certificates of candidacies are filed. "Candidates who have been spurned by their party in favor of other candidates. Once you're a candidate expecting to be nominated officially, and power blocs within the party chose someone else... that will be the next wave."

The more crucial wave of defections and realignments come in February, the start of the campaign, when government is banned from spending on projects as these may be used to further the campaign of candidates.

"This will be the time when incumbent officials would have maximized the support the administration can give them in terms of project releases of pork barrel and election bans set in. They're not expecting significant resources from the ruling party, they've not much to lose. Once they see their candidate isn't as strong, they'll jump to the strongest candidate," explained De Vera.

The last wave is before elections. "These are people trying to catch the coattails of the winning candidate," he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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