Iloilo City: Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago challenged her fellow presidential candidates to take an I.Q. (intelligence quotient) test and called them nitwits for not knowing what to do to solve the problems confronting Filipinos.
Appearing at the fully packed University of the Visayas campus here, Santiago, back to her feisty form, introduced her running mate, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to her fellow Ilonggos.
“You have not taken and passed the entrance exam of the UP and yet you want to be President,” Santiago saidat the beginning of her 13-minute speech.
“You are all nitwits,” she added, referring to the four other presidential aspirants, drawing thunderous applause from the audience. “You are promising a lot to the people but you have not achieved anything.”
Santiago said her rivals are “disasters” because they do not really understand the problems confronting the poor.
“I can run for President of the Philippines as an Ilongga, intelligent, responsive and articulate,” she added.
As to her health, Santiago said she feels better but weaker compared to her normal condition. She is battling fourth stage lung cancer and is now under a special test medication.
“I became a member of a group and they tried a medicine if it will work with me,” the senator said.
“I told God I am ready, but God is not ready to take me,” she added.
Santiago note that Filipinos face two major problems — low income and joblessness.
“I will raise your income, decrease taxes and provide millions of jobs,” she said as she vowed to address disaster risks.
At one point in her speech, Marcos stood up to fix the microphone so she could be heard clearly. “That’s how he loves me,” she said in Ilonggo, uttering the famous “palangga” word, which means love, drawing another long and deafening applause.
When asked if she believes in surveys, Santiago said surveys are not reliable because her name is not included in the list.