Francis Pangilinan

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To read this article in Filipino, see Francis Pangilinan.

Francis Pancratius "Kiko" Nepomuceno Pangilinan (born 24 August 1963) is a lawyer, politician and former TV and radio anchor. He is currently a senator, having been elected in the 2016 elections. He previously served as senator for two terms, from 2001 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2013. From 2004 to 2008, he was the senate majority floor leader.[1]

In May 2014, Pangilinan was appointed presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.[2] He is the current president of the Liberal Party. He is also married to actress Sharon Cuneta.

Early life and education

Francis Pancratius Nepomuceno Pangilinan was born on 24 August 1963 in Manila.[3] His parents were Donato Tongol Pangilinan Jr., an engineer and businessman with origins in Pampanga, and Emma Monasterial Nepomuceno, a public school teacher with origins in Nueva Ecija and Marinduque. He is one of nine children.[4]

He received his elementary and high school education from La Salle Greenhills, where he was part of the track and field and volleyball teams.

He pursued a bachelor of arts in English with a major in comparative literature at the University of the Philippines Diliman.[5] He also played volleyball while in university, in addition to joining demonstrations against the Marcos dictatorship as a student activist and a member of the student council. He was elected chairperson of the UP College of Arts and Letters Student Council in 1985 and chairperson of the University of the Philippines Student Council in 1986. In 1987, he became the first student regent of the UP Board of Regents.[6]

Pangilinan pursued a bachelor’s degree in law at the University of the Philippines College of Law and graduated in 1993.

In 1997, he received his master’s degree in public administration with a focus on strategic management from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[7]


Quezon City council

Pangilinan entered politics in 1988, when he became a councilor of the 4th District of Quezon City.[8] He was the youngest to be elected to the position. His work as councilor emphasized the role of the youth in ensuring strong and principled leadership in government. He ran in the 1992 congressional elections but did not win.


In 1993, upon graduating from law school, Pangilinan took on a teaching job at the Ateneo de Manila University. He taught constitutional, civil, and labor law. He held the job until 2000.


Pangilinan worked with network ABS-CBN during his career in the media. In his capacity as a lawyer, Pangilinan offered free legal assistance on-air as a co-anchor on the news program Hoy Gising! from 1993 to 1997.[9] In 1998, upon his return to the country from his studies abroad, he took on hosting duties for a number of radio shows on the network’s AM radio station, DZMM: from 1998 to 2001, he was an anchor on Batas, and from 1999 to 2001, he hosted Relos Report with Atty. Kiko. He also conceptualized and hosted the network’s service-oriented TV show Barangay Dos from 2000 to 2001.[10]


Pangilinan successfully ran for senator in the 2001 elections. During his first term in the Senate of the Philippines|Senate, his legislative work focused on children’s welfare. He authored the Juvenile and Justice Welfare Act of 2006, which sets criminal liability at the age of 15 and requires children aged between 15 and 18 who are in conflict with the law to undergo an intervention program.[11] He also authored laws increasing the compensation of judges and prosecutors with the aim of attracting more qualified lawyers to public service.[12]

In January 2004, Pangilinan was elected senate majority floor leader, the youngest senator to assume the role since the restoration of democracy in 1987.

In 2008, he formed the Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council, which was first proposed during the summit on extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances in the Philippines in July 2007.

Pangilinan became the chairman of the Senate's committee on agriculture in 2010. During this time, he took up farming, inspired by his conversations with farmers across the country in his capacity as chairman of the agriculture committee. In the same year, he authored the Organic Agriculture Act of 2010, which promotes the development of organic farming in the country and provides help and protection to indigenous farmers using organic methods.

Upon his return to the senate in 2016, he authored the Sagip Saka Act, which seeks to expand the income-generating capacity of farmers and fisherfolk by directly connecting them to the market and getting rid of middlemen, whose business practices result in higher prices of products on the market and low income for farmers and fisherfolk. Pangilinan also authored RA 11478, which seeks to increase the bed capacity of Bicol Medical Center from 500 beds to 1,000 beds and upgrade the facilities and services of the hospital.

In 2020, Pangilinan authored the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act, which aims to establish a trust fund for coconut farmers.

In 2021, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pangilinan co-authored the COVID Vaccination Program ACT of 2021, which seeks to expedite the procurement and distribution of vaccines for the disease in the country.

Aquino cabinet

Pangilinan served in the cabinet of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III after he reached his two-term limit in the senate in 2013. He was appointed presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization in May 2014. In this stint, he lobbied for the creation of the coconut farmers’ trust fund. This serves to act as recompense for the injustices perpetrated by the Marcos government and cronies with the Coco Levy Fund scam, where the government imposed taxes on coconut farmers with the promise of development for the industry and a share of the investments, but instead, the fund was used for personal profit, such as Danding Cojuangco’s purchase of majority stake in San Miguel Corporation.[13]

Candidacy in the 2022 vice-presidential election

On 7 October 2021, sources who spoke with Rappler confirmed that Pangilinan would be running for vice president of the Philippines in the 2022 elections.[14] According to the sources, he will serve as the running mate of Vice President Leni Robredo, who had announced her bid for the presidency earlier in the day. The following day, Pangilinan filed his certificate of candidacy for vice president accompanied by Robredo.[15]

Pangilinan was originally among three opposition incumbent senators who were set to seek reelection in the 2022 senatorial election. The two other opposition senators, Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima, filed their certificates of candidacy as planned. Pangilinan, whose vice presidential bid was revealed a day before the deadline of filing of certificates of candidacy, said he decided instead to run for the position at the behest of Robredo.[16]


The author of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act and the Act Amending the Organic Agriculture Act, Pangilinan vowed solidarity with farmers and fisherfolk.[17] In an interview on 10 October with Vice President Leni Robredo on her radio program BISErbisyong LENI on DZXL, Pangilinan said the corruption in the agriculture sector prompted him to advocate for farmers.[18]

After accepting the Liberal Party's endorsement for senator last month, Pangilinan, who is a former chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture on Food (2010-2013 and 2016-2017) and the Senate Committee on Agrarian Reform (2009-2010), wrote on Twitter, "I think another six years in the Senate will help us further champion the cause of our farmers and our fisherfolk." He continued, "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."[19]

Personal life

Pangilinan married actress and singer Sharon Cuneta in 1996. Then have two daughters together. Pangilinan legally adopted actress and singer KC Concepcion, Cuneta’s daughter with actor Gabby Concepcion.[20]

Pangilinan and Cuneta own and tend to Sweet Spring Country Farm, an all-organic farm in Alfonso, Cavite.[21]


  1. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  2. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  3. Family Search. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  4. Philippine Star. August 30, 2021.
  5. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  6. Kiko Pangilinan website. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  7. Kiko Panglinan website. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  8. Resume of Senator Pangilinan - Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  9. Resume of Senator Pangilinan - Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  10. Resume of Senator Pangilinan - Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  11. ABS-CBN News. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  12. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  13. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  14. Rappler. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  15. Rappler. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  16. Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  17. Philippine Star. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  18. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  19. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  20. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved August 30, 2021.
  21. Balita. Retrieved August 30, 2021.



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