Ben and Imelda Avanceña tell a virtual gathering why they choose Kiko Pangilinan as their vice-presidential bet in the May 9 elections. SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-0y73bcDLM)
A GRANDSON OF the late PresIdent Manuel L. Quezon, Ben Avanceña, and his wife Imelda air their full support for the candidacy of vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan for embodying integrity, love for the poor, and faith in God.
At the “Si Kiko ang Manok Ko” virtual gathering Monday night, the Avanceña couple recalled the many times they saw how good a public servant Pangilinan is.
“Maraming pagkakataon na kami ay umupo at magkwentuhan habang umiinom ng ilang bote ng San Miguel at maliwanag na maliwanag sa akin na si Kiko ang manok ko,” Ben said, noting that Pangilinan is a man of his words.
“At alam ko na kapag sinabi ni Kiko na ‘Hello pagkain’ ay talagang mawawala na ang gutom,” added the son of Nini Avanceña-Quezon, who was among the first to endorse Kiko in his congressional run in 1992.
Pangilinan’s campaign slogan is “Hello Pagkain! Goodbye Gutom” after his years’ long advocacy to improve agriculture as a means of addressing the widespread hunger in the country.
Ben believes that apart from his character, Pangilinan is most suited to become vice president because of his track record of championing the welfare of the poor and marginalized.
“Unang-una, integridad, si Kiko may isang salita, tapat sa kanyang salita at sa paniniwala. Pangalawa, ang puso ni Kiko malapit sa mga mahihirap lalung-lalo na sa mga magsasaka’t mangingisda,” he said.
“Bakit napakahalaga nito? Sapagkat alam naman natin sa bayan natin kung saan ang hustisya ay kakampi ng mayayaman at nasa poder ay kailangang mayroon silang tagapagtanggol,” Ben said.
“Kailangan ng mga mahihirap na may isang Kiko Pangilinan diyan. Malakas ang paninindigan ni Kiko sa katarungan. Isang abogado na noong bata ay isang student-lider. Kaya siya pumasok sa politika ay para ipagtanggol iyong mahihirap, mga inaapi,” he added.
Ben also highlighted that Pangilinan was never involved in any issues involving moral turpitude.
“At huling-huli, malakas ang paniniwala sa ating Panginoon. Bakit importante iyon? Kapag naniniwala tayo sa Panginoon, hindi tayo mapupunta sa katiwalian. Hindi tayo madaling mapapadpad kung saan konting alok lang ng pera, poder ay bibigay na kaagad. Alam ko si Kiko hindi ganoon,” Ben said.
For her part, Imelda said she and a group of friends are doing on-ground campaigning to reach more potential voters for the Robredo-Pangilinan tandem.
She said that several weeks ago, she met a homeless family, who upon seeing Pangilinan’s calendar also expressed their plan to vote for him.
“’Yan si Kiko ang iboboto namin kasi hindi na kami magugutom,” Imelda said, quoting them.
Kiko’s wife Sharon Cuneta, his brother-in-law Gary Valenciano, his daughter Kakie Pangilinan, and Kiko’s brothers, sisters, nephews, and nieces also graced the virtual event to express their full support for Kiko’s vice-presidential run.