HUMAN RIGHTS lawyer Neri J. Colmenares said Wednesday that he will be running for a Senate seat once more in the 2022 national elections. 

“I will run for the Senate seat in 2022 if only to deliver the sharpest message to the candidate of President (Rodrigo R.) Duterte,” he said in an ANC interview. 

His 2022 bid is backed by the Makabayan coalition composed of progressive party-lists, including Bayan Muna which he chairs.  

This would be Mr. Colmenares’ third attempt for a Senate seat after unsuccessful runs in the 2016 and 2019 elections.    

His platform, he said, would include pandemic response, regularization of contractual workers, and increasing the monthly pension of indigent senior citizens to P1,000, among others.    

Mr. Colmenares currently serves as chair of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers. He is also one of the convenors of opposition coalition group 1Sambayan but is now on leave due to his senatorial run.   

“1Sambayan is still discussing who they will support for the senatorial slate… If I’m chosen by 1Sambayan, I would really appreciate that,” he said in a Viber message.  

Mr. Colmenares has represented families of extrajudicial killings before the International Criminal Court and argued in the Supreme Court against the controversial Anti-Terror Law.    

He was a congressman under the Bayan Muna Party-list from 2009 to 2016. He served as senior deputy minority leader in the 16th Congress. — Russell Louis C. Ku