San Andres Sports Complex, Manila — Before thousands of supporters at the 3rd Makabayan Convention, former president and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada endorsed Neri Colmenares as his first senatorial bet in the 2016 elections.

Newly formed duo Grace Poe and Francis Escudero followed Erap’s endorsement of Colmenares and expressed their support to the Makabayan lawmaker. Colmenares is first in line in the Poe-Escudero tandem’s list of senatorial bets.

Estrada said the poor Filipino majority need Colmenares to represent them in the Senate. “I believe in him and his vision for the country,” he said.

Poe and Escudero expressed their hopes for genuine change through their shared vision “to provide attention to the next generation of Filipinos”.

Colmenares, meanwhile, also endorsed Poe and Escudero, who have declared their intention to run as president and vice-president, respectively.

The Makabayan senatorial candidate outlined his platform, sharing that he will press for national industrialization. “Sinabi nga ni Senator Grace Poe, kailangang dumami ang produktong made in the Philippines, kaya isusulong natin ang makabayan at progresibong industriyalisasyon,” he said.

The Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan or Makabayan is a coalition presently composed of 11 parties: Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, Courage, Migrante, ACT-Teachers, Katribu, Akap Bata, Piston, Kalikasan and Aking Bikolnon. With the goal of delivering the people’s agenda to mainstream Philippine politics, different progressive organizations assembled and formed Makabayan in 2009. Former senatorial candidates under the Makabayan bloc are Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, and Teddy Casiño.

market holiday-6Supporters of Neri Colmenares and the Makabayan Coalition, many of them donned in red shirts, fill up the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.market holiday-10Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada makes his first endorsement for a senatorial bid in the form of Neri Colmenares.
market holiday-5market holiday-4Makabayan leaders from different partylists attended the convention, including Gabriela Women’s Partylist representatives Emmi de Jesus and Luz Ilagan.market holiday-12Incumbent Bayan Muna representative and senatorial hopeful Neri Colmenares poses with supporters as the 3rd Makabayan Convention draws to a close.