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Pangilinan will be her Veep bet

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan has been chosen by various groups supporting the presidential candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo to be her running mate in the May 2022 elections, several Inquirer sources said on Thursday.

“For many of us, Pangilinan’s experience and knowledge make him the best choice as [Robredo’s] partner in ending the incompetent and corrupt government we have had since 2016,” one of the sources said of the senator, who is president of the Liberal Party.

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Another source confirmed that Pangilinan had been selected by the groups backing Robredo’s presidential run.

Two other sources said Pangilinan would file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for vice president at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City on Friday, the last day of the filing period.

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Keeping mum

But the camp of Pangilinan, including the senator himself, chose to keep mum when asked to confirm his vice presidential run, which seemed to be a last-minute development.

Just six days ago, he tweeted that he would seek reelection in the Senate. “I think another six years in the Senate will help us further champion the cause of our farmers and our fisherfolk,’’ he said.

Pangilinan was first elected senator in 2001 and then in 2007.

He is the husband of actress Sharon Cuneta, whose uncle, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, is running for vice president in tandem with Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

‘Something unexpected’

Cuneta, who is currently in the United States, seemed to hint about her husband’s new undertaking.

“It looks like we will be getting into something unexpected that is ordered by someone higher and of course, it’s a mix of nervousness and shock but I will talk about that later,” she said in an Instagram video, addressing her fans in a mix of Filipino and English.

Addressing her husband, Cuneta expressed love for him.

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He is “the best man I know’” and has “the best heart,” she said, adding: “Whatever, wherever God takes you, I will surely be beside you and wherever that takes us, I will still be beside you.”

Cuneta called Pangilinan her “rock.” She expressed hope that people “can see that,” as she maintained that he was the type to “always put what’s good for the country first before any personal ambition…’’

“I’m here for you and I love you,’’ she told her husband.

She also told her fans that they were anticipating “battles.’’

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, 2022 elections, Kiko Pangilinan, Politics
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