Francis N. Pangilinan

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BORN on August 24, 1963 to Donato Pangilinan, an engineer and entrepreneur from Pampanga, and Emma Nepomuceno, a public school teacher from Nueva Ecija and Marinduque, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is the fifth child in a brood of nine. His siblings are Maricel Arenas, Angeli Valenciano, Nenette Zipperich, Joseph, Anthony, Felichi Buizon, John Raymund and Donna Simpao.

He is a faithful husband to Sharon Cuneta and a dedicated father to Ma. Kristina Cassandra (KC) and Simone Francesca Emmanuelle (Frankie).

He is one of the new distinguished senators of the 12th Congress.

Senator Francis Nepomuceno Pangilinan, or Kiko as he is widely known, first made his mark in the hearts of the Filipinos as the young lawyer who gave free legal assistance on-air and closely monitored case progress through the popular television program “Hoy Gising!” over ABS-CBN where he was co-anchor and segment host. Kiko also anchored radio programs, including “Batas” and “Relos Report with Atty. Kiko” over DZMM, programs aimed at making the country’s legal court system more understandable to the masses by increasing their understanding of their rights and duties under the law.

In 1997, Kiko left the country for Boston, U.S.A. along with his wife and daughter to pursue his Master’s in Public Administration at the Harvard Univeristy’s Kennedy School of Government where he graduated with a general average of A-.

After an 18-month hiatus from local broadcast media, Kiko returned and proved to be in his element, conceptualizing and them hosting “Barangay Dos”, a service-oriented television program aired over ABS-CBN, dedicated to finding swift solutions to the everyday problems of common folk. The program established Kiko as an intelligent, articulate, and involved lawyer and media personality working to hasten the delivery of justice at the barangay level.

Kiko As A Student Leader

It was during his college years at the University of the Philippines when Kiko’s sense of nationalism deepened. A summer job working for his father in the hinterlands of Antique brought him face to face with the harsh realities or poverty and the impotence of government presence and basic services in the rural areas.

Kiko was moved to get more deeply involved as an agent of chage. He served as chairman of the University of the Philippines Student Council in 1986 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). Every inch an activist, Kiko led the youth sentiments of the people and castigate abusive and unscrupulous officials.

Kiko As A Lawyer

Early in his career as a lawyer, Kiko Pangilinan demonstrated his commitment to human rights and the public accountability of government officials, handling even the most controversial of cases pro-bono as collaborating lawyer of the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG). He courageously took on cases involving the high and mighty, with an eye to justice without fear or favor. He is now on leave as senior law partner of Franco Pangilinan Tolentino Ringler & Santo Law Offices based in Ortigas Center.

He earned his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of the Philippines. For seven years, he was an exacting teacher at the Ateneo de Manila, lecturing on political law, labor law, and law on sales, and agency and credit transactions. He also served as a legal analyst of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and Vice-Chairman of the National Committee on Legal Aid of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Kiko As A Public Servant

Kiko believes in active citizenship. That is why his call is “Kumilos kasama si Kiko.” Because his involvement in civic affairs began even as a student in high school, he has over 21 years of civic and public service experience. He was the youngest elected city councilor of the Quezon City Council in 1991-1992. During his stint as QC councilor, Kiko 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.

Kiko remained an active organizer of multi-sectoral groups fighting for the return of decency, competence, and accountability to national leadership. As one of the convenors of the Kongreso ng Mamamayang Pilipino (KOMPIL) II, Kiko played a major role in the opposition movement that culminated in EDSA DOS and saw the downfall of the morally corrupt and inept Estrada presidency.

Kiko As A Husband and A Father

Undoubtedly, the part of his life most exposed to public scrutiny has been his marriage to TV and Moviedom’s one and only Mega Star, Ms. Sharon Cuneta, thus the moniker Mega Lawyer and now, Mega Senator. Kiko has two daughters, Ma. Kristina Cassandra (KC) and Simone Francesca Emmanuelle (Frankie). Kiko is a loving and supportive husband and father and his family is clearly a source of joy and strength to him.

Kiko As A Senator

At 38, Kiko Pangilinan is among the 13 new senators of the 12th Congress. Elected by a mandate of 11 million votes, he is all too aware of the gravity of the task before him, the hope and faith that these votes represent. Kiko’s conviction: only principled servant-leadership and active citizenship and involvement can catalyze the onset of transparency, public accountability and good governance. Kiko’s end in view: poverty alleviation through education, justice, and opportunity.

As Kiko has often said, “Hindi madaling lumikha ng bagong bayan, nguni’t kung bawa’t isa sa atin ay kikilos, isasantabi muna ang sarili, maipupunyagi rin natin and Pilipinas na hanggang ngayon ay pangarap lamang -- Pilipinas na may dangal, may puso, at may katarungan para sa nakararami, Pilipinas na aaruga at magbibigay-pagasa sa mga simpleng pangarap ng mga naghihikahos nating mamamayan.”