Kiko Pangilinan tells afternoon session graduates: Remain agents of change

Date Posted: July 21, 2022 at 03:15 PM

Former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged the new Vincentian graduates to continue living up to their historical role as agents of change during his speech in the afternoon session of the 84th Commencement Exercises held last July 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center.

The three-term senator then reminded the batch of the Philippines’ present situation amid the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crises that the country has been experiencing for the last three years.

“In the face of the worsening economic crisis, in the face of hunger and unemployment, and bearing witness to unprecented massive disinformation enabled by digital technology; and the continuing attacks on press freedom, human rights, and the rule of law… the journey to defend the truth, to uphold justice, and to pursue good governance, and effective and accountable leadership continues.”

Thanking the youth, Pangilinan quoted a line from a song by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift saying, “‘I had the time of my life, fighting the dragons with you.”

During the 2022 National Elections, the youth sector became one of the biggest supporters of Pangilinan’s tandem with now Angat Buhay NGO Chair and former Vice President Leni Robredo.

“In God’s time, the flames in your heart will become a wildfire of justice, of the truth, and of accountable leadership that will engulf the entire nation,” he said.

In his speech, Pangilinan talked about rising from defeat, even mentioning his recent hiccup – an unsuccessful Vice Presidential bid. He used his own experiences as an example to encourage the graduates of Batch ’22 to move forward, accept the reality of setback, learning from defeat and the role of the youth in curbing societal crises.

Mentioning prominent personalities in Philippine history such as Dr. Jose Rizal, Graciano Lopez Jaena and Juan and Antonio Luna, Pangilinan reiterated that it is the youth and their zeal and idealism that will push the “meaningful and purposeful change” needed in the country.

“Today, the country faces very serious problems… health and economic crisis facing the nation has been unprecedented… millions continue to be jobless… [and] are going hungry as prices of fuel, food, and basic commodities continue to remain unaffordable to them,” he said.

“The youth and students are again being called upon to fulfill your historical role as change agents and I know you will not let our people down.”