Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada leads wreath-laying during Commemoration of the 69th Anniversary of the Historic Battle of Manila at the Freedom Triangle, Manila City Hall, on Monday, Feb.03, 2014. (MNS photo)

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada leads wreath-laying during Commemoration of the 69th Anniversary of the Historic Battle of Manila at the Freedom Triangle, Manila City Hall, on Monday, Feb.03, 2014. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Former President and incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Wednesday endorsed the senatorial bid of Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares.

Estrada endorsed Colmenares’ senatorial bid during the Makabayan coalition’s national convention held at the San Andres Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.

“Hindi pa man naidaraos ang 2016 elections, sumasaludo na ako sa isa sa ating magiging bagong senador, ang magiting at maginoong kinatawan ng Makabayan sa mababang kapulungan ng Kongreso, the honorable Congressman Neri Colmenares!” he said.

Estrada said Colmenares is his first choise for senator in 2016.

“Sa totoo lang po, wala pa akong ine-endorsong senador para sa 2016 elections. Cong. Neri is the first candidate I chose to endorse because I believe in him and his vision for our country,” he said.

Citing Colmenares’ relentless drive to prevent power generating companies from increasing their rates, Estrada said the progressive lawmaker can do more for the country if he were to be elected as senator.

“Ang mga katulad ni Neri ang kailangan natin sa Senado… Kongresista pa nga lang ay ang dami nang nagawa ni Neri para sa taong bayan, what more once he becomes a senator?” he said.

Estrada clarified that he did not get any payment for his endorsement of Colmenares, who is believed to be included in the senatorial slate being prepared by Senator Grace Poe’s camp.

“Wala po akong bayad para dito,” he said.

“Noong artista ako, mahal ang TF (talent fee) ko. Ngayon puro TY (thank you),” the former president added in jest.

Colmenares is expected to be named as the Makabayan coalition’s senatorial candidate before the convention ends. (MNS)