Ang UMA | July-December 2015
During the Anakpawis Party-list National Convention held last September 26 at the Amoranto Sports Complex in Quezon City, Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares told the hundreds of toiling masses in attendance that he became an activist because he witnessed and became part of the day-to-day struggle of sugar workers in his native Negros Occidental. The militant struggle of peasants and agricultural workers continues to inspire him to this day.
Colmenares knew the viciousness of Martial Law – he was arrested twice as a student activist in Bacolod City and in Cagayan Valley and endured severe torture. Tempered by his experience in detention, he pursued higher studies and eventually became
a lawyer. Colmenares is now the President of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) which handles cases pro bono for political prisoners, activists, and for ordinary
masses in need.
When he became a Congressman of Bayan Muna (People First) Party-list, he authored and co-authored several bills that uphold the rights and welfare of the ordinary Filipino. This includes among others House Bill 252, better known as the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB). He is also known for authoring the bill for the P2,000 increase in the monthly social security (SSS) benefits of senior citizens, a piece of legislation now only waiting for a signature from the President to be finally enacted.
But more than that, Rep. Neri Colmenares is still part of the parliament of the streets where he marches alongside the masses in fighting an oppressive and repressive system to effect change.
UMA is among the toiling masses of peasants and workers who fully support the candidacy of Neri Colmenares for Senator in the 2016 National Elections.