Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday said her chosen running mate, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., has not committed any wrongdoing against the people and she is confident that he can defend himself from his critics.
Santiago, who is running for President for the third time, made it clear in a forum that she did not team up with the son and namesake of the late former president to defend him from his and his family’s critics.
“I have not seen prima facie evidence that Bongbong Marcos killed someone or raped someone or burned a house [down]or in other words violated any of the provisions of the Penal Code,” Santiago said during the Philippine Business Conference and Exposition of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City (Metro Manila).
The younger Marcos is being criticized for alleged corruption, possession of ill-gotten wealth and commission of human-rights abuses during the time of his father who was President from 1966 until his ouster in 1986.
Santiago said that the son should not be blamed for the negative issues involving his father.
According to her, blaming the senator for the supposed mistakes of his father is against the teachings of the Bible that says: “The sins of the father should not be visited upon the children.”
“I am a Church-going Catholic. So if he has done anything wrong, my recommendation is a formal allegation or complaint must be filed in court or before the fiscal and then in court
so that we will see if there is any basis at all,” Santiago said.
“This man is trying to redeem himself. Let us give him a chance,” she added.
Meanwhile, Santiago again dismissed calls for her to release her medical records to show that she really defeated her cancer, noting that she does not see the move doing any good for the country.
She also assured those who are questioning her health condition that she is willing to engage anybody in a debate about anything but she will not allow anyone to mislead her to go into a political debate that would include her illness.
“Can’t you see me? Can’t you see that I can stand straight? That I can look you in the eye?
What else do you want from me? Why are you so nasty? What kind of government will we grow up into if this is your attitude?” Santiago said, responding to an open letter asking her to release her medical records.
Dr. Sylvia Estrada Claudio, in the open letter, asked the senator to release her medical records in order to determine if the latter really received a “miracle.”
But Santiago maintained that there is no provision in the Constitution that requires any candidate for any office to show his or her medical records.
Marcos also defended his fellow senator, noting that the latter’s right to privacy should be respected.