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Francis Pangilinan

Francis Pancratius "Kiko" Nepomuceno Pangilinan (Tagalog: [paŋɪˈlɪnɐn]; born August 24, 1963) is a Filipino lawyer and politician who is currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines since 2016, having previously served from 2001 to 2013. Pangilinan’s political life began as a student activist in 1985, on the eve of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolt. In the Senate, he served as Senate Majority Leader from 2004 to 2008.[1] In May 2014, Pangilinan was appointed Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization by President Benigno Aquino III.[2] Pangilinan ran for senator again in 2016 under the Liberal Party of the Philippines, placing 9th out of 12 winning candidates. [3] He is currently the president of the party.

Francis Pangilinan
Sen. Francis Pangilinan
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2016
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2013
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agriculture and Food Committee
In office
July 25, 2016 – February 27, 2017
Preceded byCynthia Villar
Succeeded byCynthia Villar
In office
July 26, 2010 – June 30, 2013
Preceded byLoren Legarda
Succeeded byCynthia Villar
Chair of the Philippine Senate
Agrarian Reform Committee
In office
February 2, 2009 – July 26, 2010
Preceded byGregorio Honasan
Succeeded byGregorio Honasan
Chairman of Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization
In office
May 6, 2014 – September 15, 2015
PresidentBenigno Aquino III
Succeeded byFredelita Guiza
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
June 1, 2004 – November 17, 2008
PresidentGloria Macapagal Arroyo
Preceded byLoren Legarda
Succeeded byJuan Miguel Zubiri
Councilor of Quezon City
In office
Personal details
Francis Pancratius Nepomuceno Pangilinan

(1963-08-24) August 24, 1963 (age 56)
Manila, Philippines
Political partyLiberal Party (2001–present)
Other political
LDP (1988–1992)
Sharon Cuneta (m. 1996)
ChildrenFrankie Miel
ResidenceQuezon City
Alma materUniversity of the Philippines Diliman
Harvard University

Early lifeEdit

Francis Pancratius Nepomuceno Pangilinan was born on August 24, 1963 in Manila[4] to Donato Tongol Pangilinan, Jr., an engineer and entrepreneur from Pampanga, and Emma Monasterial Nepomuceno, a public school teacher from Nueva Ecija and Marinduque. He has eight siblings.[5]

As a varsity athlete, he was an NCAA and UAAP track & field and Volleyball gold and silver medalist in the 80s. He ran the 400 meter hurdles and the 4 × 400 m relay in the La Salle HS Track & Field team and played HS and College Varsity Volleyball for La Salle and UP.

As a student activist against the Marcos dictatorship, he ran and won as councilor of the UP University Student Council under the student party SAMASA (Sandigan para sa Mag-aaral at Sambayanan or Pillar for Students and the People) in 1985. He was later elected chairperson of the UP USC and became the first student representative at the UP Board of Regents.

He entered mainstream politics in 1988 in the first free electoral exercise after the Marcos dictatorship. He was elected the youngest councilor of Quezon City. Since then, he has tried to live progressive ideals -- principally, that committed leaders need equally engaged citizens for genuine and lasting change. In 1992, he lost in the congressional elections in Quezon City.

Pangilinan first made his mark as a young lawyer giving free legal assistance on-air and closely monitored case progress through the television program Hoy Gising! over ABS-CBN where he was a co-anchor and segment host. He also anchored radio programs, including Batas and Relos Report with Atty. Kiko over DZMM, programs aimed at making the Philippine’s legal court system more understandable to the masses by increasing their understanding of their rights and duties under the law.

As a writer, had an opinion column in the Times Journal in the 80s and the Manila Times in the 90s.

As an educator and academician, he taught constitutional, labor and civil law at the Ateneo de Manila University from 1993 to 2000.

In 1997, he left the country for Boston, Massachusetts, along with his wife Sharon Cuneta and daughter, to pursue his Master of Public Administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where he graduated with a general average of A-.[6]

After an 18-month hiatus from local broadcast media, he returned by conceptualizing and then hosting “Barangay Dos”, a service-oriented television program aired over ABS-CBN, dedicated to finding solutions to the everyday problems of the common Filipinos. The program established him as an intelligent, articulate, working, and involved lawyer and a media personality.[7]

He led his Senate Volleyball team to win the championship in the Senate Olympics held last July 2008.


He completed his elementary education at La Salle Green Hills in 1977. He completed his secondary education still in La Salle Green Hills in 1981.

He finished his college education and graduated from University of the Philippines Diliman with a Bachelor of Arts in English, Major in Comparative Literature.[8] He was a member of Upsilon Sigma Phi while in attendance there.[9][10]

It was during his college years at UP Diliman when his sense of service deepened. A summer job working for his father in the hinterlands of Antique brought him face to face with the poverty and the absence of government presence and basic services in the rural areas.

He served as chairman of the UP Diliman University Student Council in 1986 under the student political party SAMASA and was the first Student Regent of the UP Board of Regents in 1987. He was elected Philippine representative to the Committee on Youth Cooperation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In 1997, he finished his post-graduate studies at the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government with a degree of Master of Science in Public Administration with an area of concentration in Strategic Management.

Political careerEdit

Quezon CityEdit

Through the years, he supported and effected programs and laws that harness people power, always taking a holistic view of Philippine society’s cancers.

He believes in active citizenship that is why his involvement in civic affairs began even as a student in high school. He has over 20 years of civic and public service experience. He was the youngest elected city councilor of the Quezon City Council in 1988–1992. During his stint as QC councilor, he saw the need to unite and develop young legislators committed to strong, principled leadership among young legislators. He thus founded and established the National Movement of Young Legislators (NMYL) where he became founding president.

The Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO), established in 2003 to recognize young people’s initiatives in public service and nation-building, was his brainchild.

He remained an active organizer of multi-sectoral groups fighting for the return of decency, competence, and accountability to national leadership.


Pangilinan was elected to the senate in 2001 and was re-elected six years thereafter.

In his first term at the Senate, he championed the plight of the most vulnerable children, and authored and shepherded the measure that would keep children in conflict with the law out of cells that detained mostly adult hardcore criminals. He recognized that the country’s judicial system needs to be overhauled, and ensured that salaries and benefits of judges and prosecutors were increased so that the best and the brightest lawyers would be drawn to public service.

He was first elected as Senate Majority Leader in 2004. On July 23, 2007, Jinggoy Estrada was voted Senate president pro tempore, while Pangilinan was the majority leader following the assumption of Manuel Villar to the chamber's leadership of the 14th Congress.[11]

Formed in 2008, Pangilinan created the Judicial Executive Legislative Advisory and Consultative Council, first proposed on the July 16–17, 2007 Manila Hotel Summit on extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances in the Philippines.[12]

When he chaired the Senate Committee on Agriculture in 2010, he was able to speak to farmers all over the country and was inspired to start his own small farm, from which he learned this insight: the success of the country lies in the success of the poorest in Philippine society -- our farmers and fishers, our food producers.

After winning in the 2016 senatorial elections, Pangilinan continued his advocacy in agriculture. He was part of the minority bloc in the Senate together with Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, and former Senators Bam Aquino and Antonio Trillanes. [13] His most recent law was RA 11321 or the Sagip Saka Act, which he principally authored and principally sponsored in the Senate.[14] Sagip Saka aims increase farmers' income by empowering them and connecting them to the market. The law was signed on April 17, 2019. [15]

Aquino cabinetEdit

In May 2014, Pangilinan was appointed as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization - a Cabinet-level position under the Office of the President of the Philippines - by President Benigno Aquino III.[2] In September 2015, Pangilinan announced his resignation from the post.[16]

As OPAFSAM head, he pushed for the creation of the coco levy trust fund for coconut farmers -- in an attempt to correct the injustice started by Marcos and his cronies who collected taxes from the farmers purportedly to develop the industry. In 2016, he pursued the same advocacy in his third term at the Senate. But after he and fellow opposition senators were removed from the Senate majority, and subsequently lost the chairpersonship of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, he continued to defend the coco levy trust fund bill with new committee chairperson Sen. Cynthia Villar agreeing to let him finish work he has started.

In October 2016, he was appointed interim Liberal Party president. His appointment became permanent in August 2017. Once again, he puts his trust on Filipinos to help him transform LP into a party of the people, opening the party to mass membership.

Personal lifeEdit

He married actress and television personality Sharon Cuneta on April 28, 1996.[17] Together, they have two daughters and one adopted son. He is also the stepfather of actress and singer KC Concepcion, Cuneta's daughter whom he legally adopted.[18]

Pangilinan and Cuneta owns Sweet Spring Country Farm, an all-organic farm located at Alfonso, Cavite.[19]

Two other Pangilinan siblings also have connections in local showbiz via marriage. His sister, Angeli Pangilinan, is a popular talent manager who was married to singer Gary Valenciano in 1984. Another sibling, Anthony, a TV host, is married to former beauty queen and actress, Maricel Laxa.


  1. ^ "Secretary Kiko Pangilinan" (PDF). National Irrigation Administration.
  2. ^ a b "Pangilinan appointed presidential assistant on food security". Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 5, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  3. ^ "Senatorial Results (Philippines) | Eleksyon2016 | GMA News Online". July 3, 2018. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  4. ^ "Philippines, Manila, Civil Registration, 1899-1984," database with images, FamilySearch( : accessed June 10, 2016), Francis Pancratius Nepomuceno Pangilinan, August 24, 1963; citing Birth, Manila, Metropolitan Manila, Philippines, Civil Registry Office, City Hall of Manila; FHL microfilm 1,582,630.
  5. ^ "Restaurant-style dishes from Anthony Pangilinan". The Philippine Star. April 22, 2004. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  6. ^ Senator Kiko Pangilinan. Senate of the Philippines.
  7. ^ Francis N. Pangilinan. Senate of the Philippines.
  8. ^ Pangilinan, Francis | Personal Information. Retrieved on July 8, 2013.
  9. ^ Porcalla, Delon. "Law frats also in spotlight at CJ trial". Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  10. ^ "CEU Law dean leads Upsilon UNO awardees". Manila Bulletin News. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  11. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, Jinggoy voted senate president pro-tempore. (July 23, 2007). Retrieved on 2013-07-08.
  12. ^, Gov't forms Jelac to boost tripartite relations. (May 13, 2008). Retrieved on 2013-07-08.
  13. ^ Senate ousts Drilon, LP senators from key posts. Rappler (February 27, 2017). Retrieved on 2019-10-22.
  14. ^ Drilon boasts passage of landmark laws authored by minority bloc amid criticisms. Philstar (June 5, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-10-22.
  15. ^ Saka Act for farmers, fisherfolk signed into law.Rappler (May 27, 2019). Retrieved on 2019-10-22.
  16. ^ Nicolas, Fiona (September 15, 2015). "Pangilinan quits as food security chief". CNN Philippines. Nine Media Corporation. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  17. ^ Lee, Wilson. (November 11, 2012) Sharon Cuneta Pangilinan celebrates adopted son Miguel & new townhouse venture | Sunday Life, Lifestyle Features, The Philippine Star. Retrieved on 2013-07-08.
  18. ^, Kiko denies talk of split with Sharon. (April 28, 1996). Retrieved on 2013-07-08.
  19. ^ "Kris, dalawang buwan na magbabakasyon sa ibang bansa (Kris on two month vacation in another country)" (in Tagalog). Balita. May 7, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.

External linksEdit