Santiago hints at run; Señeres is all in
SEN. MIRIAM Defensor-Santiago has hinted that she just might decide to throw her hat into the ring in 2016.
Santiago, who is on medical leave from the Senate due to lung cancer, gave some hope to her supporters in a post on her official Facebook page.
“I’m not going to be coy. Society leaders have urged me to seek the presidency. I can rise to the occasion,” she posted.
As of Thursday, Santiago’s post received more than 32,000 likes and was shared more than 1,900 times.
Santiago’s supporters urged her to run for President in comments on her Facebook page.
Paul Rabasto said in his comment that he would be voting for the first time because “someone is worthy of my vote. Miriam Santiago for President!”
Derick Rod said Santiago was the most qualified among the candidates for President in 2016, while user Ervin Elbit urged Santiago to run and said he was willing to donate a month’s salary to her.
Santiago ran for President in 1992, but lost to Fidel Ramos in a hotly contested race.
Definitely aiming for the presidency is OFW Family Club party-list Rep. Roy Señeres, who said he would be running on a full ticket, with a running mate and a 12-member senatorial slate that he will soon announce.
Señeres said he would run under the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka, which traces its roots to the Lapiang Manggagawa founded in 1963, and is accredited with the Commission on Elections.
It is the same party that was the vehicle former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa used in his failed presidential run in 1998 and by former defense secretary Hermogenes Ebdane in his aborted presidential bid in 2010.
Señeres’ main claim to fame was his much-publicized rescue of overseas worker Sarah Balabagan from death row in the United Arab Emirates in 1996.
Señeres believes that his platform to ban contractualization of labor and promote permanent employment would resonate with the millions of workers in the service industry, specifically shopping mall staff and restaurant crew.
“According to latest statistics, there are 15 million contractuals working in giant malls and chain restaurants. This is against the law and the Constitution because the Constitution says every worker must have security of tenure, they cannot be dismissed from work without just and authorized cause,” Señeres said.
Señeres said he decided to throw his hat in the ring because of the clamor from several groups such as OFW FORSE (Friends of Roy Señeres Everywhere), ATAKKK (Alisin ang Tanikala ng Kontraktwalisasyon, Korapsyon at Kahirapan) and Respect our Security of Employment movement.
He said overseas Filipino workers have promised to chip in $5 each to fund his campaign. Señeres served as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates during the Ramos administration.
Meanwhile, the lawyer who initially shepherded the whistle-blowers of the congressional pork barrel scam through the media and congressional hearings, has had enough of being in the sidelines and wants to be in the main event.
Levito Baligod said he could fight corruption and protect the public’s welfare more if he were a senator.
“I cannot expect to win in a boxing match if I am outside the ring. I have to be inside to do the job and win. Thus, I offer myself as an alternative to one of the 12 seats in the Senate,” he said.
“I am a lawyer and I’m qualified to run. I am also passionate about bringing the fight against corruption to a favorable conclusion and make that responsible account for their deeds,” said Baligod, who will run as an independent.
Baligod, 45, who is from Cagayan Valley, said his sincerity and willingness to serve would make up for his lack of a prominent family name.