Pancho has extensive experience working in the voluntary, non-profit and government sectors. Before joining Alert, he served as Philippines Country Director of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), was the Policy Specialist in Agrarian Reform and Rural Development at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the Philippines, and subsequently served as Chief of Staff of the Cabinet Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform (1998–2001).
He holds a BA in Sociology from the University of the Philippines, and an MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He worked as a research associate at the LSE Crisis States Research Centre (2007–2010), taught classes at the LSE Development Studies Institute (2007–2008) and wrote on political economy issues in Indonesia and the Philippines for the LSE-IDEAS Emerging Markets Bulletin (2007–2009). He has also taught at the University of the Philippines, and has researched and written on diverse topics, such as the political economy of conflict, political settlements, economic sociology, agrarian reform, food security, rural politics, and agricultural trade policy.
Pancho is the co-editor of a book on the links between Mindanao’s shadow economies, conflict and governance, entitled 'Out of the shadows: Violent conflict and the real economy of Mindanao' (2013). The book won the 2017 National Book Award in the Philippines.