Mr Neri Colmenares
Neri Javier Colmenares joined the Centre in 2002 as a research assistant and was appointed as an Associate of the Centre in 2003. He is currently undertaking his Ph.D. on "The Writ of Amparo as a Legal Tool in Identifying Perpetrators of Extra Judicial Killings and Enforced Disappearances: The Case of Manalo, Cadapan and Balao". His research interests include human rights, election law, the process of constitutional amendments, the anti terrorism law, amnesty and the writ of amparo and habeas data and has published articles on these topics.
Neri gives lectures or briefings to congressional committees, university forums and the Supreme Court sponsored Legal Education for Lawyers. He has appeared on Oral Arguments before the Supreme Court regarding President Gloria Arroyo's Executive Order 464 prohibiting her executive subordinates from testifying in Congress (2005), President Arroyo's CPR Policy to Violently Disperse Rallies Without Permits (2006), Amending the Constitution through President Arroyo's Initiative (2007) and the US-Philippine Visiting Forces Treaty (2008). He also argued before the Supreme Court against the discriminatory rule which deprived him of his seat in the legislature despite valid votes during the 2007 congressional elections. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor and he now sits in the House of Representatives.
Neri is also an electoral lawyer and was lead counsel in a Supreme Court petition which resulted in the disqualification of all major political parties from participating in the Philippine party list elections. He appeared before the US District Court as one of the 10,000 martial law victims in the class suit against President Ferdinand Marcos, where the court granted a total of US $2.1 Billion in damages, one of the largest ever awarded.