Wife Sharon gave blessing to his new job
MANILA - Newly appointed Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization (PAFSAM) Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said he is not interested in the presidency.
Several quarters criticized the appointment of Pangilinan, saying his entry just two years before the 2016 elections could be a political move.
“I am not interested in the presidency nor the elections at this time. If at all, maybe, the reelection… But I was told, I already rank high in the surveys, maybe I would not need anymore the additional headache,” he said.
Pangilinan was also asked if he is interested in the vice presidency.
"I’d rather we just focus on issues plaguing the agriculture sector. Politics will take care of itself. If I fail, then I fail – and there’s nothing to speak of in terms of future in politics."
Pangilinan also clarified why he had to accept the position nearly a year after leaving the Senate. News had been swirling that the agriculture portfolio was already his upon stepping down from the Senate.
“Nangako ako sa pangulo na tutulungan natin siya. Nagkaroon lang ng aberya sa nakaraang taon. Minabuti kong tutukan ang aking pamilya (I promised President Aquino I would help him. There was just some hindrance the past year. I had to focus on my family),” he said.
He said his wife, actress Sharon Cuneta, finally told him in the end, “Dahil ikaw ay namahinga ng isang taon, alam ko mas mahal mo ako kaysa sa gobyerno (Since you decided to take a rest from politics for a year, it proves you love me more than the government).”
Pangilinan said he will give his best despite the limited time left until the end of the Aquino administration.
He also said it took the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and many others around 15 to 20 years to implement development. He said there should be continuity, predictability, and consistency in policies.
“My goal is this: What can I do in two years to make the process of reform irreversible? Given the remaining two years, we can make a lot of headway.”