But veteran senator mum on running mate
AFTER weeks of silence, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Tuesday confirmed what she had announced several months ago: she will be joining the presidential race in 2016 because she has recovered from her bout with cancer.
Santiago, who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2014, said she is 100 percent sure of running “unless I get struck by another bout of cancer.”
She will file her certificate of candidacy (COC) on Friday.
According to the feisty senator, she already has a running mate and a Senate line-up under the People’s Reform Party (PRP) but she refused to identify them.
“It would be prudent [to run for President] because I think I would disappoint a lot of people if I don’t do that,” she said during the launch of her second book “Stupid is Forevermore.”
The veteran lawmaker said the Philippines will be a better country with her at the helm.
“I can apply for a job abroad like the one I lost because of my cancer but I think since I have served the government from the very beginning, I will end my career here,” she added.
Santiago will run under her own PRP, which was formed in 1992 when she first took a stab at the presidency. She lost to Fidel V. Ramos, the candidate endorsed by former President Corazon Aquino.
The senator has been on sick leave since she publicly announced that she has stage 4 lung cancer. But despite her poor health, she is the most prolific legislator for having the most number of bills and resolutions filed.
It was also her health condition that forced her to give up her post as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Santiago was named to the ICC in December 2011. She was the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to be elected as judge in that court. She was supposed to serve a nine-year term.
Santiago first expressed her intention to run for President in July this year.
Prior to her official announcement, Santiago had hinted on Facebook that she may run for President in 2016.
“I am not going to be coy. Society leaders have urged me to seek the presidency. I can rise to the occasion,” she posted.
Santiago also said that she already has a runningmate.
She however refused to identify him, only hinting that he has already announced his intention to run for vice president.
“He has already announced. We will be running together. I cannot give the answer because his wife might scold him,” the senator told reporters.
So far, there are six candidates eyeing the vice presidency and two of them –Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Gegorio Honasan 2nd – have filed their COCs.
The other four are Senators Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes 4th and Rep. Leni Robredo.
Escudero is the runningmate of Sen. Grace Poe, thus, he is out of the picture. Trillanes may also be out because he has expressed his support to Poe.
The only vice presidential candidates who don’t have a candidate for president are Marcos and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.
Cayetano’s plan to convince Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte to seek the presidency was unsuccessful after the latter announced that he will not be running in 2016.
As for Marcos, the senator has said that he is keeping all his options open.