In a time of crisis, we need people in government who will stand with the people, who will work without selfish interests, who will take on the tasks of lawmaking and investigation seriously. In a time of growing poverty and price hikes, dictatorial tendencies and various forms of State violence, we need someone who has a proven track record of fighting oppression on all fronts.
Neri Colmenares is — and has always been —that person.
His nine years as Congress Rep of Bayan Muna reveals that he has worked not just with an ear to the ground, but with his heart in the right place. The laws he has authored range from basic services such as the public text message warnings for storms and calamities (RA 10639), to services for the disenfranchised such as the special election precincts for PWDs and senior citizens (RA 10633). He authored the law that increased the SSS pension for senior citizens and retirees by P2,000.00 — a fight that he continues in the present, as the second half of the amount has been promised for 2019.
Being a Martial Law survivor and human rights lawyer, he authored the Anti-Torture Law and Anti-Enforced Disappearances Law to ensure that the evils of martial rule will not happen again. He authored RA 10368 which acknowledges and compensates victims of Marcos’s Martial Law.
As a lawyer, Colmenares has brought various petitions to the Supreme Court, taking the side of the people versus unjust price hikes of basic services and utilities. In 2013, he successfully fought against the highest price hike that Meralco wanted to impose on its subscribers. In 2015, he did the same versus Maynilad and Manila Water. That same year he also effectively fought the MRT and LRT price hikes benefitting all commuters. Currently, he has a petition with the Supreme Court versus telcos’ overcharging of subscribers and its slow internet services.
In 2019, Colmenares stands strong in his conviction that the rising cost of basic goods, utilities, and fuel is something that government can and should address. He waits for the Supreme Court decision on the petition he filed with Bayan Muna versus the TRAIN Law and its unjust taxation, the effects of which we all felt with the highest inflation rate in 10 years, and the uncontrolled price hikes of 2018.
From the streets, to the courts, the House of Representatives, and on to the Senate, Colmenares is that same person who has fought for your rights, raised his voice about the issues that matter, and stood on the right side of history no matter how difficult or unpopular.
The truth is, regardless of whether or not you know Neri, if you use electricity and consume water, if you use public transport and fuel, then you have benefitted from the battles he has dared fight for the people. And for that reason alone, he deserves your vote.