A fan’s plea to Senator Miriam

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SEN. Miriam Defensor–Santiago is highly qualified to be president of the Philippines but she can’t completely erase all doubts about her health condition unless she agrees to make public the medical clearance showing she had indeed already licked her lung cancer.

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Several months back, she revealed that she was suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer. That meant she had a terminal ailment. As a medical practitioner had noted, only 1 percent of Stage 4 cancer patients survive. We who admire her certainly wish that she would be in that miracle group. We would have taken her word that she’s already cancer-free except for the fact that she’s vying for the presidency – and it’s but proper that questions about her health condition should be fully answered.

In 2004, former Sen. Raul S. Roco run for president and never revealed that he had prostate cancer. Like Senator Miriam, Senator Raul would have made an ideal president but his terminal ailment made it impossible for him to campaign fully. He abandoned the energy-sapping nationwide campaign to seek treatment abroad. We can only speculate if he would have lived longer had he not aspired for the presidency.

Sen. Miriam shouldn’t go ballistic over calls that she make public her claimed clean bill of health. After all, the public wouldn’t have known about her cancer if she didn’t reveal it in the first place. In fact, she should proudly wave to all and sundry that medical clearance for it would prove her being unsinkable. Very few could lick Stage 4 of cancer and her clearance should be proof of the miracle she had received from above.

About three months ago, she said that her correspondent doctor, Dr. Mark Kris, chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, said that “although no patient can be pronounced cured of cancer, she has been able to control the cancer, meaning the cancer growth in her left lung has been arrested, by following his prescription.”

She said that Kris had a consultation with her last July 17, together with her local doctors – Dr. Esperanza Cabral, cardiologist, Dr. Gary Lorenzo, oncologist, and Dr. Ruth Divinagracia, pulmonologist.

She added that the team, together with Kris, examined at the St. Luke’s Global City Medical Center all her Positron Emission Tomography and CT Scans “which Kris had already fully studied in his NY clinic.” The quoted phrase is important because Kris was in the Philippines for only three days.

She shouldn’t suspect that those who want her to make public her medical records want to derail her bid for Malacañang. I have high respect for her and I want her to win, but I also want her to show that she has already licked her lung cancer. We don’t want a sickly tenant in Malacañang.

In a previous column before I had heard her reveal that she was suffering from terminal cancer, I wrote that she’s a more credible graft fighter than BS Aquino The Last, she has more experience in governance than Sen. Grace Poe, and she should be a preferred alternative candidate by those who are despairing at the inability of Vice President Jejomar Binay to explain credibly the extremely high cost of Makati City buildings. But most of all, she should be the primary choice of those who don’t want an Aquino clone in Malacañang in 2016. (She once said of then Tarlac Rep. BS Aquino: “He’s a sorry excuse for a scion of a great man whom I would want to educate – if he is educable.”)

Politics in legislative inquiry

I’ve just watched on CNN the inquiry by the US House Select Committee on Benghazi with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the hot seat and I noted that even the supposed sophisticated American legislators wouldn’t hesitate to use congressional inquiries as weapon against political opponents – just like their Filipino counterparts. On second thought, wasn’t it from the Americans that Filipino lawmakers have learned this political chicanery?

I learned that the inquiry into the Benghazi incident, where an American diplomat and four other Americans were killed by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, was the EIGHTH undertaken by the Republican-controlled US Congress. One Democrat said the current inquiry was undertaken because Republicans weren’t satisfied by the answers in the previous inquiries and because Clinton is seeking the presidency.

I also notice one thing: the name plates of committee member don’t use the word “Honorable” or “Hon.” Rather, they use the word “Mr.” and “Ms.”
Oh yes, the late Sen. Joker Arroyo was a rare chairman of the blue ribbon who had refused to be a party to investigations that are meant to sully the reputation of some people or for “fishing expeditions.”

19espiloy 47@gmail.com

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11 Comments

  1. I too watched the US-House of the Representatives grill Hillary Clinton over her alleged mistakes over her handling of the Benghazi embassy tragedy. Seven hard nosed Republicans took turns to grill her asking probing, provoking and downright insulting and sarcastic questions. She answered the questions head-on, gave pungent answers to pungent questions for 11 frightful hours. She met the ordeal honorably, controlled, unfrightened and looking regal and the victor after the grueling hours.

    Makes me wonder in our part why VP Binay can’t find the courage to face 3 Senators and answer their questions for just a fraction of that time.

  2. What the Almighty has given us choices for the RP 2016 Pres election is a thing to ponder. HE gave as viable choices in 1) Mar – a man not for himself but for the persons holding the strings and a wife of doubtful ambitions. 2) Bnay – who should be a role model for those aspiring poor but alas succumbed to the ill wills of SALAPI. 3) GP – who invoke the reighteous works her late adopted father has done; invicible accomplishments are not accomplishments. And GP has an american family, a negative connotation of an RP elected official. 4) Maid Mirriam – capable but with stage 4 cancer of the lungs; she may not last while in office. 5) EP – running for personal aggrandizement.

    We Filip[inos did not prayed hard for GOD has sent us the discards. The echoes of our prayers were heard loudly in hell.

  3. Unnecessary I think for her to divulge her medical records to the public. What is important is her desire to serve and clean this government of acute corruption…

  4. All I can say let’s just pray sincerely to the Almighty he would give us a righteous leader who loves the poor and the oppressed just like St Francis of Assisi and our current papal head Pope Francis. God have mercy on us.

  5. Miriam, based on credentials, is the best presidential candidate for 2016. Right now, the Philippines is at its turning point; it needs cleansing from all corruptions and ignorance, or this will be a fallen country. It is better to choose and take the risk on a cancer survivor who has the good will, intellect, determination, and hardwork, than to choose someone just because he/she has longer life expectancy and does not know how to change a country. Voting is not based on health, but rather on substance of the candidate. If health ever becomes a criteria, then, we could say that nobody is fit, since anyone healthy today may develop/discover a terminal illness tomorrow. What we must do is to support Miriam, hope and pray she’ll be able to fight her cancer and help her fight this country’s cancer, together.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Right now, the Philippines under P-Noy is falling down a cliff with nowhere in sight for recovery. With all the messes surrounding us it would take a miracle to overcome them. God bless the Philippines.

    • laguatanlawzen.com on

      Samj you are correct in your opinion about Miriam. Let’s put her in Malacanang Palace not any of the three ambitious candidates – Roxas, Binay, and Mrs. Llamanzares.

  6. If you ask a surgeon if they operate on a stage 4 cancer patient, they will say that they do not operate at this stage. The doctors only relive the pain by giving pain relievers. Comment if I am wrong.

  7. When Sen. Santiago revealed information concerning her health without having been compelled to do so, she effectively waived her right to her privacy concerning that particular subject and could not now be heard to say that questions on the matter are protected by the rules of confidentiality. The physical and mental health of a potential president are matters of national concern and interest, and the people are entitled to be informed of their president’s ability to perform the duties imposed upon him for his entire term in office .

  8. I believe in one of her interviews, Sen. Santiago already replied to the question about her health. She encourage anyone who questions her heath to ask her doctors at St. Luke’s Hospital to find out about her medical status. But making her medical records public is quite different from just merely looking into her medical staus, as it involves her privacy. When the campaign period kicks off, voters will be able to gauge whether she is indeed physically capable or not. Unlike the late Sen. Raul Roco, she didn’t hide her illness.