Kiko Pangilinan is Robredo’s vice presidential pick; Bam Aquino named campaign manager

Published October 7, 2021, 4:24 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Liberal Party (LP) president, is Vice President Leni Robredo’s vice presidential running mate for the 2022 elections, well-placed sources of the Manila Bulletin confirmed on Thursday, October 7.

Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan (Senate of the Philippines)

The same source said the senator will file his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) as vice president on Friday, Oct. 8.

Pangilinan was originally set to file his COC as a reelectionist on Wednesday, Oct. 6, but he wanted to give way to Robredo’s announcement.

The source added that Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV will be Robredo’s campaign manager. He will not be seeking a Senate term despite almost winning in the 2019 midterm elections that was dominated by allies of President Duterte.

READ: ‘Buong-buo ang loob ko’: Robredo announces bid for presidency

This was confirmed by Aquino in a statement sent to media. “Hiniling niya sa akin na maging kaniyang Campaign Manager sa kinakailangan ngunit napakahirap na laban na ito (She requested me to be her campaign manager in this important, but challenging campaign),” he said.

“Bagkus mayroon nang paghahanda patungo sa ating pagkandidato bilang Senador muli, minarapat ko na isantabi ito para sa mas mahalagang laban para sa ating bayan (Despite the preparations for my candidacy as senator again, I decided to set aside it for this more important fight for our country),” he added.

The former senator vowed to do his best to ensure Robredo’s victory in the upcoming polls.

In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Pangilinan placed in the 11th to 19th rank, giving him a good chance to clinch a spot in the Magic 12.

Earlier, it was believed that former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV will be Robredo’s running mate since he got the highest number of votes in the internal survey of opposition coalition 1Sambayan.

But Trillanes already said he will not run as vice president if Robredo decides to seek the presidency because she would need someone with the “numbers” to help her win.

Pangilinan is seen as Robredo’s personal choice since 1Sambayan lead convenor and retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio already said that the vice president’s choice for a running mate did not come from the coalition.

However, he also earlier said Robredo is free to choose who she wants as a running mate in the 2022 polls.

The vice president filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) on Thursday afternoon, shortly after her announcement at 11 a.m. at the Quezon City Reception House, where she holds office.

READ: Robredo files COC for president

Pangilinan was not with Robredo, who did not anymore face the media, when she filed her COC.

He was also not at the Quezon City Reception Hall though LP stalwart Senator Frank Drilon was there, along with Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros and senatorial aspirant and human rights lawyer Chel Diokno.

Hontiveros and Diokno are guest candidates of the LP while Trillanes will lead 1Sambayan’s senatorial slate.

Robredo was accompanied by her lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, and daughters Aika and Tricia.