Representative Neri Colmenares
Bayan Muna Representative Neri Javier Colmenares is a long-time human rights lawyer, constitutionalist and expert on international humanitarian law.
was among the youngest political detainees during martial law.
Prior to joining the legal profesion, he was a student activist.
He finished his Bachelor of Arts in Economics at San Beda College and completed his law degree with the University of the Philippines.
He is completing his Doctorate in Law with Melbourne University on the International Criminal Court and the Legal System Impediments to Prosecution of Human Rights Violators.
Atty. Colmenares acted as counsel or argued before the Supreme Court in petitions and against the constitutionality of the Calibrated Pre-emptive Response (CPR), the initiative to amend the Constitution (the Charter Change case), Executive Order 464 (the Executive Privilege case), the Visiting Forces Agreement (the VFA Case) and Proclamation 1017 (the Emergency Rule case).
He was also counsel to Supreme Court petitions on legal issues involving the anti-terrorism law, urban militarization, the national identification system, the Writ of Amparo and the Bilateral Immunity Agreement in relation to the International Criminal Court.
also argued before the Supreme Court in the Bayan Muna petition to declare all major political parties disqualified from participating in the party-list elections.
also challenged the First Party Rule which the SC recently struck down resulting in the entry of 32 new party-list representatives in Congress.
A native of Negros Occidental, Neri
activism at 15 as a youth organizer against martial law in 1976.
During the '80s, he became an officer of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), Studen Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP) and the Visayas Regional Chair of the Student Catholic Action (SCAUP).
was arrested twice for his
student activism by virtue of an Arrest, Search and Seizure Order (ASSO) issued by then Pres.
languished in prison for a total of four years during martial law.
was heavily tortured during his
imprisonment and, as one of the 10,000 human rights violations victims in the Marcos Human Rights case, he
appeared before the Hawaii District Court in 1998 to contest the unjust US$ 150 Million settlement agreement with the Marcoses.
Neri has been Bayan Muna's general counsel since the party's inception in 1999.
was elected the party's third nominee in 2007 elections, but assumed his
post only after the SC granted the petition of Bayan Muna
to declare the First Party Rule unconstitutional.
He is lifetime partner to Shalimar Vitan and doting father to three-year old Bien Carlo. ###