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Makabayan bloc endorses Team ABEL, GP

Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares (third from left) endorses the candidacy of re-electionist Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, re-electionist Mayor Evelio Leonardia and congressional aspirant Dan Atayde (l-r) of Grupo Progreso*

Team ABEL and Grupo Progreso candidates got another shot in the arm following the endorsement yesterday of major grassroots organizations under the umbrella of the Makabayan bloc led by former Bayan Muna Party-list Congressman Neri Colmenares.

Team ABEL, which stands for congressional candidate Dan Atayde, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, also expressed all-out support to the senatorial bid of Colmenares, a native of Bacolod City.

“This is a major political development in the run-up to the official start of campaign period for local elections late next month. We highly appreciate the Makabayan bloc’s continued support to the GP slate,” Leonardia said in ceremonies held at the Mansilingan Gym.

Mansilingan Barangay Captain Rodolfo “Boy” Pico led thousands of residents attending the program.

Both Atayde and Familiaran echoed the mayor’s statement as they rallied progressive groups and Barangay Mansilingan residents to stay united and work towards Bacolod’s sustainable progress.

Colmenares thanked both Leonardia and Familiaran for their unwavering support to Bayan Muna in as many elections in the past.


John “Butch” Lozande, Makabayan Bloc coordinator for Negros Occidental, exhorted Bacolodnons to rally behind Colmenares, Team ABEL, Grupo Progreso and presidential candidate Vice-President Leni Robredo.

Local groups associated with Makabayan, he explained, support candidates with pro-people platform and champion social justice and oppose the return of the remnants and enablers of the oppressive Martial Law regime, including the son and namesake of the dictator, Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, Jr.

Lozande, a native of Victorias City, also warned Bacolodnons not to easily fall into believing the tall tales and promises being made by the rival of Leonardia because they will only end up disappointed.

“I am saying this because I know him. I am a native of Victorias. Over the years, he tried to project himself as the savior of the world (salvador del mundo). When, in fact, he is all promises. Do not fall into that trap,” Lozande reiterated.


Colmenares authored the bill increasing to P2,000 the monthly SSS pension.

He lamented that while both the House and the Senate approved the legislation, Malacañang only granted a P1,000 hike in SSS pension.

Once elected senator, he said, he will push that the balance of P1,000 be granted by the national government.

He also plans to refile the bill on social pension that automatically grants P1,000 a month to senior citizens.

As soon as you reach 60 years old, all Filipinos without exception, get the monthly social pension regardless of your status in society.

Colmenares said he will also re-introduce the bill on free medicines and free hospitalization that needs an allocation of P454 billion annually.

Once it becomes a law, it will unburden millions of Filipinos as PhilHealth currently only covers at most 44 percent or even less of the patient’s hospital bill.

The law provides for, not just free consultation, but also free medicines, free laboratory expenses, minor or major medical procedures certified by a physician including dialysis, kidney transplant, chemotherapy, among others.*

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December 2022

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