Foregoing Senate reelection, Kiko Pangilinan runs as Leni Robredo's vice president

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:36 p.m.) — Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan is officially Vice President Leni Robredo's running-mate, filing before the Commission on Elections on Friday his candidacy as her vice-presidential candidate in 2022.

Pangilinan was accompanied by Robredo when he filed his candidacy for vice president under the once-ruling Liberal Party, which he leads as president.

He was originally one of three opposition senators alongside Sens. Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima seeking another term in the chamber in 2022.

Pangilinan ranked 11th in the latest Pulse Asia survey, positioning him well for a reelection.

But his plans changed at the last minute after Robredo pushed him to run as her vice president instead.

“Kung may pagkakataong makatulong sa mas marami; kung may pagkakataong maglingkod sa mas malawak na paraan; kung tatawagin sa mataas na katungkulan — tungkulin nating tumugon lalo na sa gitna ng pinakamatinding krisis sa kalusugan at ekonomiya ng bansa,” he said in a speech after filing his candidacy.

(If there is an opportunity to help more people; if there is an opportunity to serve in a greater way; if there is a higher calling — it is our duty to respond especially in the middle of the greatest health and economic crisis of our country.)

Robredo told reporters at a press conference that picking Pangilinan as her vice president “makes the most sense” as they share the same principles and aspirations for the country.

“Kampante ako na pareho ang aming patutunguhan,” Robredo said. “Alam ko na siya ‘yung mangangalaga hindi lang ‘yung legacy na iniwan ko kundi lalo pang dalhin niya a notch higher.”

(I’m confident that we are both heading in the same direction … I know that he will take care not only of the legacy that I am leaving but most importantly for him to take it a notch higher.)

Now that Pangilinan is running for vice president, his slot as senatorial candidate under Robredo’s ticket will be taken by former Rep. Teddy Baguilat (Ifugao).

LP also endorsed veteran rights lawyer Chel Diokno and former Sen. Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV for the Senate along with the incumbents, but Aquino has since announced that he will not seek the Senate to focus on Robredo's campaign. 

Pangilinan vows solidarity with farmers, fisherfolk

Pangilinan vows solidarity with farmers, fisherfolk 

"I think another six years in the Senate will help us further champion the cause of our farmers and our fisherfolk," Pangilinan said on Twitter last month as he accepted LP's endorsement for senator. 

"With the help and support of our countrymen, if we are reelected, we will continue to champion the cause of food security and hunger in the country," he added partially in Filipino. 

Several bills authored by Pangilinan during his current term have been enacted into law, including the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, Free Higher Education for All Act, Sagip Saka Act, and Free Internet Access in Public Places Act. 

The senator is also the principal author of the coco levy fund law, which is intended to correct almost four decades of injustice to the poorest farmers in the country. 

Pangilinan was first elected senator in 2001. He was reelected in 2007— the first incumbent to win a reelection bid as an independent. 

In 2014, he was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III to serve as his assistant for food security and agricultural modernization. 

He resigned as presidential assistant in 2015 and won a fresh Senate term the year after. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 8, 2021 - 4:40pm

Follow this thread for updates on the aspirants for local and national posts in the May 2022 elections. — Main photo by The STAR/Boy Santos

October 8, 2021 - 4:40pm

Sen. Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa files his certificate of candidacy for president under PDP-Laban.

He is running alongside Sen. Bong Go, who earlier filed his COC for vice president.

October 8, 2021 - 4:03pm

Through a representative, Sen. Richard Gordon files his certificate of candidacy, gunning for reelection in the 2022 polls. 

October 8, 2021 - 3:11pm


Former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat files his certificate of candidacy for senator.

He will be running under the Liberal Party.

October 8, 2021 - 3:10pm

Actor Robin Padilla submits his candidacy documents for senator in the 2022 polls under the banner of a PDP-Laban faction.

October 8, 2021 - 1:28pm

Ernesto Abella, former spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte, files his candidacy for president in the 2022 polls.

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