Pangilinan files candidacy as Robredo's VP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 8) — Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan will vie for the second highest public office in the country as the running mate of Vice President Leni Robredo in the 2022 elections.

The veteran legislator filed his certificate of candidacy on Friday, the last day of submission.

He is running under the Liberal Party, while Robredo — who is the chairperson of the political party — is running as an independent.

Pangilinan was supposed to seek reelection, but he said he could not say no to Robredo when she asked him to be her running mate.

"Tinanggap ko ang hamon. At ito’y tinanggap natin hindi dahil sa katiyakan ng ating pagkapanalo, kung hindi dahil sa katiyakan ng ating paninindigan at paniniwala," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: I accepted the challenge not because a win is assured, but because of the convictions we share.]

Robredo agreed, saying Pangilinan is the choice that "makes the most sense" because they have similiar principles and aspirations for the country.

She added that she would be happy to turn over the Office of the Vice President to Pangilinan because she believes he can make it better through his advocacy in agriculture and food security.

"Siya talaga ang kasama na kampante ako," Robredo said. "Kampante ako na pareho ang aming patutunguhan."

[Translation: I am comfortable with him because we want the same path and goal.]

"Pinagpaguran ko ang Office of the Vice President, kung nasaan na ang OVP," she also said. "Wala akong pagdadalawang isip na kay Sen. Kiko ko ito iiwan kasi alam ko siya ang mangangalaga, hindi lang ng legacy na iniwan ko, kung hindi dalhin niya a notch higher."

[Translation: I worked hard for the Office of the Vice President. I will not be worried about turning it over to him because I know he will take care of it — not just the legacy I've created, but he will take it up a notch.]

Pangilinan co-authored the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021 and authored the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004 and the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.

The Robredo-Pangilinan tandem is the only opposition in the 2022 elections.

The presidential tandems of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Dr. Willie Ong, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao and House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza have all refused to identify themselves as administration nor opposition bets.

Efforts of the Robredo camp to produce a unified opposition fell through when those three tandems filed their candidacies.