President Benigno Aquino 3rd has appointed former senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization.
In a statement, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Monday said Pangilinan will take his oath before President Aquino this afternoon “to assume a position with Cabinet rank.”
“This is similar to former senator Panfilo Lacson’s appointment,” Coloma added.
Lacson was appointed as reconstruction and rehabilitation czar.
Pangilinan will supposedly oversee the National Irrigation Administration and the National Food Authority, which is currently under the Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, however, will stay in his post.
In March last year, Aquino announced that Pangilinan, whose term as senator ended in 2010, will be joining his Cabinet.
“Kiko, in particular, has several aspects of the agricultural sector he wants to concentrate on. He has already discussed his ideas with [Agriculture]Secretary Proceso Alcala, and we will try to maximize his involvement in our administration to the benefit of the agricultural sector,” the President said.
But in October, Aquino said Pangilinan had begged off from accepting the post, citing “need to spend quality time with his family.”
Aquino and Pangilinan are allies from the ruling Liberal Party. They were colleagues at the Senate from June 2007 to June 2010.
Pangilinan is married to actress Sharon Cuneta. The couple has three children—Simone Francesca Emmanuelle, Mariel Daniella Sophia and Miguel.