Kiko Pangilinan’s Speech During the Thanksgiving Event
Ako po ay nagpapasamalat sa lahat. Alam ko hindi pa tapos ang kampanya but win or lose, kinakailangan namang magpasalamat kaya inisip po namin na kahit paano ay ngayon pa lang magpapasalamat na po.
First of course, I’d like to thank Sharon. For your support, and your inspiration, and your patience, and your understanding. We woudn’t have reached this far without that coming from you. It would have been a very difficult campaign without your support, or without your understanding, and your patience and I wish to thank you. And your sacrifice! Sweetheart, I love you very much and I’d like to thank you. Also, of course the kids—thank you for your patience. And I’m sorry if there were days when I was grumpy. Thank you for your understanding. It’s not easy to campaign 90 days. Of course, I’d like to thank my mom for her prayers. Everyday she lights a candle and prays Mommy, thank you for your prayers. We reached this far with no major hitches. Mommy, salamat for your prayers.
Of course all my siblings—my 8 siblings and my pamangkins also thank you for all the support. Not just this campaign but all the campaigns. This is our third, it has not been easy. And I know how much sacrifice and effort you put into this. Maraming salamat. I would not be here without the support of my wife, my children, my family, my siblings. For tonight, thank you to Ate Angeli for putting this together. Genesis. Of course for the campaign, Rollie, Boboy, Rachel, and Team Kiko, mabuhay! Sorry if sometimes I say difficult things. Pasensya rin sa aking impatience. Minsan sa aking pagiging strict, masungit. Hindi biro itong kinakampanya natin and I ask for your understanding and I also apologize if at times I may have said something that may have hurt some of you. Nothing personal. We’re all here because we have to get the message across, because we have to be able to convince and persuade our voters as to the justness and righteousness and correctness of our cause, and so if there were some gaps, it’s all about that. It’s all about how effective we ought to be, how machine-like precise we ought to be, because our people deserve nothing less than our best and our utmost. Because they have suffered so much for so long, the least we can do is do our best and excel at what we are doing. And that is probably why sometimes I can be harsh and hard on you guys. But thank you, thank you for the sacrifice and hardwork and you’ve done, Team. Mabuhay kayo! Mabuhay an gating kampanya. Hindi pa tapos!
You know, in the last 90 days, since we started this campaign it’s not been easy. In fact, some of you may have know that I was not also sure if I would run again. In fact, in one public interview I said na pagod na ako… Burned out. And I didn’t think that running again is something that I would do at that point. And then somebody sent me a message on Facebook, my colleague and my contemporary in UP many years ago, when she heard that at watched that interview she sent me a message and said, “Don’t make a decision if you’re tired. Don’t make a decision because you’re burned out. You take a few days off, you rest, you think about it, pag-isipan mo nang husto, and that’s when you decide. At tama nga naman. Contemporary ko kasi sa UP, mga student lider, mas senior sa akin kaya siguro kaya niyang sabihin sa akin yung ganung klaseng abiso. And I took it. I rested… overnight. Isang araw lang na pahinga kasi wala namang oras noon dahil I was still in the Cabinet. I went to the farm, I prayed, I lit a candle, I learned that from mommy, na magtirik ng kandila at magdasal. And then a few weeks later lumabas ang results ng aming commissioned survey, and at that point I was number one. The survey came out and the survey said I was number one. So I said I guess that’s a message. That was in June. Maaring yung ang mensahe sa akin, maaring hindi iyon ang sagot, so I said, “Sige, itutuloy natin ito.”
In the course of the campaign, I guess it was an affirmation that we did the right thing when we decided to run again because sa loob ng 90 days, marami akong nakilala at marami pa akong dagdag na nakita. You know in Maguindanao, a farmer would sell his kalabasa at P5 per kilo and 1 hour away in the wet market it’s also P25 per kilo. In Dipolog in Zamboanga de Norte, another farmer, and kwento niya he sells his mangosteen at P10 per kilo. But an hour and a half away in Dipolog City, it’s already being sold at P30 per kilo. You see in those two instances, the farmer sells at 1/5 or 1/3 the price. But it’s just an hour or an hour and a half away and it’s already 3 times and 5 times the price. The farmer should be able to earn 3 or 5 times more if we correct that. But he is not. He is only earning on average P2,000 a month. And they’re the ones who feed us. And that is not just. If we have any sense of justice in our hearts, we should not allow that to happen.
I met Mang Rogelio in Cauayan, Isabela, 75 years old, a rice farmer. He had been farming since he was 12. For 63 years, he had been farming. And he is still poor. He has fed us for 6 decades. He is 75 years old and he is still farming. I told Mang Rogelio, “Unang-una Mang Rogelio, ako ay humihingi ng kapatawaran sa ngalan ng aking henerasyon dahil kami ay nagkulang. Hindi naming kayo nabigyan ng sapat ng pagkilala at pagrespeto. Pangawala, Mang Rogelio ako ay nagpapasalamat. Dahil sa anim na dekada ng hirap niyo, ng sakripisyo niyo, anim na dekada niyo kaming pinakain bilang isang bansa. And I asked him a third thing, “Sana bigyan mo ako ng pagkakataon na itama itong hindi makatarungang pangyayari.
I also met a farmer in Nueva Ecija, Mang Romeo, same story. 75years old, started farming when he was 13. 62 years and still poor. And so after going through that I said I did the right thing—to run again. Because there’s still so much to be done to correct the injustices and the hunger, the poverty that continue to affect our nation.
Tama si Noel (Cabangon) kanina. We were together in the 80’s, marching in the streets. 90’s, 21st century, 2010… 30 years na. Marami pa ring problema. But of course, we have moved forward. Not fast enough so perhaps we have to fast-track it more. And that’s why we continue to do what we are doing now. And this is made possible because of your support. I wouldn’t be here standing in front of all of you if you had not been there supporting us, supporting our effort, praying for us, cheering us on, providing us the necessary resources, so that we continue to move, continue to convince, continue to persuade others of again, the justness and the righteousness of our campaign and our cause.
Gary (Valenciano) said it earlier and also Sharon that we are facing a serious political situation in the country, telling us that we need to seriously pray about who we are to elect. Of course, in my case, I don’t need to pray about it. I know who to elect, at least who I am going to choose. I pray that he will be elected. That’s Mar Roxas. And Leni Robredo. And we really need to be able to make sure that we decide because May 9 is not just about electing officials. It’s not just about candidates, it’s not just about voting, but about where we want to bring this country as a people. Saan natin dadalin ang republika. Saan natin dadalhin ang minamahal na bansa. In the end, sa sama-sama nating pagpasya, tayo ang magdedesisyon. Tayo ang magsasabi kung saan natin dadalhin ang republika. At nawa’y dalhin natin doon sa landas na tuluy-tuloy ang reporma at pagbabago sa ilalim ng fragile subalit vibrant na demokrasya. ‘Yon po ang ating layunin. ‘Yon din ang dahilan bakit tayo tumatakbo. Marami pang problema ang bansa. Marami nang nasosolusyonan na problema pero hindi pa ito sapat. The P-noy administration has only been 6 years. There have been problems, definitely. There is no perfect administration. But if you look at the lessons of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, 6 years is not enough to transform a nation and move it from a developing nation to a developed nation status. They needed 15 to 20 years of consistency in policy, continuity in policy so that they were able to reach developed nation status. We, in the Philippines, will have to do our version of consistency—15 – 20 years of consistency in policy, consistency in leadership, predictability in terms of policy formation. ‘Yon ang hamon po sa atin. We are now in the brink of making that decision. That is why I am also supporting Mar and Leni because it will be continuity, consistency predictability, at least in the next 6 years after this, should they win.
Hindi ko na po pahahabain pa. Ako’y nagpapasalamat po muli sa inyong lahat. Marami pa tayong kinakailangang gawin. Sa tulong ng Diyos at sa pagkilos ng ating mga kababayan, ng ating mga taga-suporta, hindi lamang po tayo mananalo dahil sa ganitong sitwasyon ay winning is the easy part. After that is the challenge of being able to govern and being able to lead this nation towards the proverbial ‘promise land.’ We deserve it. The Filipinos deserve better. Our country can actually achieve more and ought to achieve more. Our farmers, their lives, we must really work so that their lives improve. Sabi nga ni Frankie, “We should treat our farmers like our parents because they are the ones who feed us. So with that, I’d like to thank everyone. Maraming salamat sa inyong pagdalo. I hope you enjoyed this evening—the songs. This is our way of saying thank you to all of you. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng sakripisyo, sa lahat ng pagod, sa lahat ng suporta. Maganda gabi po sa kanilang lahat! Mabuhay po ang ating republika!