February 11, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) senatorial candidate Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today dismissed as baseless talks that President Aquino is secretly supporting presidential aspirant Senator Grace Poe.
“I don’t think it’s true. Si Presidente po kapag puti, puti. Kapag itim, itim. Ganon siya,” said Pangilinan at a forum in Kamuning Bakery Cafe in Quezon City.
Pangilinan, who is seeking a third term in the Senate under the “Daang Matuwid” coalition, said he knows the President very well since they are good friends and “party mates” since the 90s.
“Matagal na kaming magkaibigan kaya kakilala ko na rin ang ating Pangulo. Hindi ako naniniwala na may ‘secret candidate’ siya dahil hindi siya ganon,” he said, adding that Poe’s presence in the Palace should not be given any political color.
Rumors circulated that Poe was the alternate candidate of President Aquino after the lady Senator attended the former’s birthday party in Malacanang last Monday.
Meanwhile, Pangilinan said President Aquino’s six years in office would not be enough to transform the country into a more developed nation.
He said it will take at least 12 years or even up to two decades to fully institute reforms in the country.
If elected, Pangilinan said he will file a bill that will further improve the agricultural sector of the country.
He also said he will push for a law that will improve farmer entrepreneurship that will help farmers move away from subsistence farming.
Pangilinan also said he will author a law that will give aid to farmers during times of calamity.
He admitted that he does not support the call for free irrigation.
But he said he will fill a bill that will institutionalize a bigger share of farmers’ associations in the funds collected from irrigation service fees.
“Hindi ako pabor na gawing free ang irrigation pero iyong nakokolekta na fees dito ay dapat 80 percent ay mapunta sa mga magsasaka para makatulong sa kanilang mga pangangailangan,” he noted.
Pangilinan said he is also in favor of distributing agricultural lands to farmers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Aside from his plans in agriculture sector, he said he will also file bills that will strengthen online educations in the country and integrating voter education in the school curriculum.
In 2013, Pangilinan left the Senate and became a full-time vegetable farmer.
He was named as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization in 2014 and left the agency after more than a year.