‘I’ve licked cancer, I may run for president’ – Santiago
MANILA, Philippines – Just barely two months before announcing she had Stage 4 lung cancer, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said she has now overcome it and is now considering running for president in 2016.
“I have licked cancer, and I’m actually thinking of several career options. By 2016, I will be disqualified by law to seek another term as senator,” Santiago said in a statement on Wednesday.
Last July 2, the senator called a press conference to announce that she was suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer.
After her oncologists issued a diagnosis on lung cancer, Santiago said she was placed on medication called Tarceva (aka Erlotinib) for six weeks, at only one table a day.
Last August 12, she said, St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City issued a report on a PET/CT Scan stating that the tumor in her “left lung has regressed,” meaning that it has become smaller.
“The latest lab test shows that the cancer cells are waving a white flag. During this time, I only have to work on my stamina . During the six-week period of treatment, I was even able to work on the 2014 editions of some 10 law books which are scheduled for release by the end of the year,” she said.
“I’m not going to be coy. Society leaders have urged me to seek the presidency. I can rise to the occasion, although I was following the other sign posts on the road to recovery,” said the senator.
Santiago said she would run for president in 2016 if there are enough like-minded people such as Fr. Joaquin Bernas who will support her.
The senator was reacting to Bernas’ remarks that President Aquino should no longer seek a second term and to “give Miriam naman a chance.”
While she has always ran for public office under her own People’s Reform Party, this time, Santiago said she would need to coalesce with one or both among the Liberal Party headed by Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, and the Nacionalista Party led by former Senator Manny Villar.
“After I was diagnosed with cancer, Sen. Manny went to my house and told me, among other things, that my popularity level is very high. But he also said that he is encouraging several hopefuls to raise their survey ratings,” Santiago said.
Quoting from a poem that she recited during the funeral ceremonies for her son who died at 23 years old, Santiago said: “Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there. I do not sleep.”
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