Bayan Muna congressman and senatorial aspirant Neri Javier Colmenares bared he was adopted by an aunt as a child because of his family’s poverty.
Speaking before thousands at yesterday’s Galing at Puso rally at Plaza Miranda in Manila, Colmenares said his father was a security guard and his mother a clerk.
He then asked the crowd if an adopted child from a poor family could be a senator, which responded with an enthusiastic “yes”.
Colmenares’ revelation was in obvious reference to his group’s standard bearer Grace Poe who some political camps want disqualified for being a foundling.
A highly regarded human rights lawyer with degrees from the Philippines’ best schools as well as a graduate degree from Australia’s University of Melbourne, it was easy to assume that Colmenares came from at least a middle class family.
He remains to be one of the poorest congressmen in his nine years at the House of Representatives, a distinction he proudly shares with fellow Makabayan bloc representatives.
In a Facebook post, journalist Dean Lacandazo shared that a tricycle driver once rushed for Colmenares as he was boarding a jeepney to shake his hand.
“Di ba Congressman adto han Bayan Muna? Makig-lamano unta ako. Kaupay ano, nagco-commute la hiya?” (He was the congressman of Bayan Muna right? I just wanted to shake hands with him. Isn’t it good that he commutes for transportation?), Lacandazo recounted.