Kiko running for VP in 2010, Sharon confirms

May 16, 2009

By: Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
May 15, 2009

MANILA, Philippines—The megastar made it “official.”    

Sharon Cuneta said Sen. Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan, her husband, would run for vice president in 2010 and she was ready to assume the role of “Second Lady” if he was blessed with victory.  

“Yes, I think he’s declared. It’s been made clear to everyone,” Cuneta said when asked the other night if the senator was going to run for the country’s No. 2 post next year.Cuneta spoke to the Philippine Daily Inquirer when she and Pangilinan appeared at the Register&Vote (RV) campaign—a rally and rock concert rolled into one—in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City.     

Pangilinan is one of RV’s prime movers. Aside from Pangilinan, those who initiated the RV campaign were Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, lawyer Alex Lacson, Naga Mayor Jesse Robredo, entrepreneur Bam Aquino and former Bukidnon Rep. Nereus Acosta.    

Pangilinan previously said he would seek the vice presidency next year, but it made little splash in the media. On Wednesday night, Cuneta “confirmed” it.   

Pangilinan, who won reelection to the Senate in 2007 as an independent candidate, told the Inquirer last week that he would remain independent in seeking the country’s second highest post.   

‘Where my husband is, I go’

As Pangilinan’s wife, one of the country’s most popular and successful actresses said she would definitely throw her all-out support for him.     

“Where my husband goes is where I go,” Cuneta said.    

Asked if the people could expect to see her more often in Malacañang as the vice president’s wife, assuming her husband won, Cuneta replied: “I think the vice president, if he (Pangilinan) is blessed to be in that position, I think he’ll be the one moving and doing what he must. The ‘Second Lady’ will be just behind him, supporting him.”     

But she said it would not mean the end of her three-decade long career in show business.     

“I am also a working girl. I don’t intend to give up my career, give up my work, and I think that’s clear between us,” Cuneta said.     

The busy actress’ presence at the rally clearly indicated her support for Pangilinan’s advocacies.     

KC joining, too?

Pangilinan is one of the prime movers of the campaign to urge voters, especially the youth, to register so that they could make their impact in the 2010 elections.     

“It’s very important because based on data, 9 million first-time voters haven’t registered. They themselves can dictate on the result of the elections,” Pangilinan told reporters in Filipino.     

“The challenge is how to convince these 9 million that if they unite and choose the right leaders, it will be the end of rotten governance.”       

Pangilinan said it was likely that his wife would be seen more often in the registration campaign in selected parts of the country. “It will be a big help because the issue of registering is becoming more popular,” he said.      

 Padaca et al.

He said even their eldest daughter, KC, a celebrity in her own right, could join the registration campaign.     

The rally-rock concert was attended by more than 1,000 people, mostly residents of the depressed area in the barangay (village) that was part of Pangilinan’s district, where he served as a councilor at age 23.     

Artists like Cookie Chua, Luke Mijares, MYMP, and Kamikazee sang hit songs and urged the crowd to register and vote. The hugely popular Parokya ni Edgar band capped the night.     

Introduced by Pangilinan, the Megastar came on stage shortly before midnight to the wild cheers of the masa crowd.     

‘He’s proven his worth’

Alongside comedian Chokoleit, Cuneta urged the crowd to register, telling them that voting would empower them and allow them to choose their leaders.     

She said she was aware that her husband’s critics would again claim that he would use her celebrity status to get elected next year.     

But she said her husband had “proven his worth” since he was elected senator in 2001.    

“He’s done his job very well … Every single year, if you follow the ongoings in the Senate, my husband has been working, especially when he was majority leader, and this I say as a wife, a supporter, and a fan of Kiko’s,” Cuneta said.     

She added: “I know his heart, I know his ideals. I don’t meddle in his work. I give my opinion only when it’s sought. I am mainly there to pray and support him and make sure my man’s OK.”     

 Voting power

Figures are murky on how many actually comprise the group of new and first-time voters. Commission on Elections Chair Jose Melo told a recent Senate hearing that they number about 3.5 million altogether.     

RV said there were 5 million first-time voters, “enough to swing the vote, change the electoral landscape, and change the face of Philippine governance.”     

The group also said that by 2010, young Filipinos aged 35 and below would comprise 54 percent of the voting population.


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