Aspiring vice president Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan has gained the support of five national artists, who also declared backing for Vice President Leni Robredo.
The national artists namely: Virgilio S. Almario, Ben Cabrera, Ryan Cayabyab, Alice Reyes, and Ramon Santos publicly endorsed Pangilinan on Friday, April 22 in a ceremony in Pulilan, Bulacan.
They belong to the Katipunan sa Kultura at Kasaysayan (KKK2022), an organization of artists, writers and scholars aiming to promote the national language, Filipino literature and culture.
In a statement, the national artists said that the pair of Robredo and Pangilinan "is the best tandem to vote for" in the May 9 elections. They decided to also support the senator because they believe that he will be key to a stable Robredo administration.
VP bet Sen. Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan gains the support of five national artists namely: Virgilio Almario, Ben Cabrera, Ryan Cayabyab, Alice Reyes, and Ramon Santos. The national artists declared their support earlier today, April 22. Team Kiko Pangilinan @manilabulletin pic.twitter.com/ZbAEOls0LF
— Betheena Unite (@MB_unite) April 22, 2022
"Naniniwalà kami na bukod sa matapat sa mga adhika ni Leni Robredo para sa bayan ay may mga talino at mahusay na karanasan si Kiko Pangilinan upang matupad ang mga tungkulin ng isang bise-presidente (We believe that aside from the honest intentions of Leni Robredo for the country, Kiko Pangilinan has the intellect and good experiences to perform the duties of a vice president)," Almario, the acting president of KKK2022, said.
"Naniniwalà din kami na kailangan ang magkatulong na pangangasiwa nina Leni Robredo at Kiko Pangilinan para maisagawa ang mga adhika ng Kartilya ng KKK2022 na iniharap at ipinangakong tutupdin ni Leni Robredo kapag nagwagî sa eleksiyong ito (We also believe that the cooperation between Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan is needed to realize the commitments of Leni Robredo is she wins the elections)," Almario added.
Pangilinan, who holds a degree in English comparative literature from the University of the Philippines, thanked the national artists for the honor.
“Malaking karangalan sa akin na mga batikang National Artist...Itong karangalan na ito ay nakaka-inspire, nagbibigay ng dagdag na lakas(It is a great honor for me...This is very inspiring, and gives added boost),” he said.
The national artists also encouraged other writers, artists, cultural workers, and Filipinos to support the tandem and their senatorial slate.
The artists declared support to Robredo last Feb. 14, 2022.