2022 Philippine Elections

Pangilinan to seek Senate reelection in 2022

Mara Cepeda
Pangilinan to seek Senate reelection in 2022

SEEKING REELECTION. Senator Kiko Pangilinan speaks during the plenary session on July 28, 2020.

Allan Peñaredondo/OS Pangilinan

'We hope that we can continue to champion for agriculture,' says reelectionist Senator Kiko Pangilinan

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is eyeing a return to the upper chamber in the 2022 elections.

Pangilinan, who is currently serving his third term in the Senate, confirmed his plans to seek reelection in a Zoom interview with reporters on Tuesday, June 22. 

The chairman of the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP) hopes to continue championing for the agricultural sector should he stage a successful reelection bid in 2022. 

“That’s the plan…. I can see there are still a lot of challenges to the agricultural sector, especially now because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for food security all the more. So we hope that we can continue to champion [for] agriculture, the plight and the cause of the farmers and our fisherfolk, and rural development,” said Pangilinan in a mix of English and Filipino.

He was first elected to the Senate in 2001 and was reelected during the 2007 polls. The 1987 Constitution allows only two consecutive terms for each senator, so Pangilinan had to take a break from the legislative branch. 

From 2014 to 2015, Pangilinan served as the presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization under then-president Benigno Aquino III, who is now chairman emeritus of the LP. 

Pangilinan then ran and won for senator again during the 2016 elections, which saw the rise of Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency. That year saw the mass exodus of LP members as they jumped ship to Duterte’s party, PDP-Laban. 

Since then, “dilawan” – referring to the yellow color of LP – has become a derogatory term used by Duterte’s supporters to describe critics of the President and his policies. 

In the 2019 midterm elections , only 18 LP lawmakers were elected to the House while all the senatorial bets of the LP-led Otso Diretso coalition lost. 

Robredo, Pangilinan, and the rest of party stalwarts have since moved to rebrand LP as a “party of the people,” intensifying their push to recruit more non-politicians among their ranks.

Pangilinan said LP, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2021, is now reaching out to senators Panfilo Lacson, Joel Villanueva, and Nancy Binay as well as Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to build a united coalition for the 2022 polls. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.