I licked stage 4 cancer–Santiago | Inquirer News

I licked stage 4 cancer–Santiago

/ 04:00 AM November 13, 2015

Miriam 3

Presidential aspirant Miriam Defensor Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

Belying the noticeable shakiness in her voice, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said “very advanced” and “very expensive” cancer medication has allowed her to lick her “stage 4” lung cancer and engage in a strenuous presidential campaign.

“I’m in the stage that is a result of very advanced cancer medication… The situation has changed. In effect nobody dies from cancer anymore,” Santiago told reporters after addressing the 4th Technological Vocational Education and Training (TVET) national congress at SM Aura on Thursday.


Santiago, who  revealed in July 2014 that she had stage 4 lung cancer, said the advanced cancer medications that she took are not well-known but that revolutionary medications come out every month.


“The only problem with these medications is that they are very, very expensive,” she said.

Thursday’s event was only the fourth public engagement that Santiago has appeared in since she filed her certificate of candidacy on Oct. 16.

She launched her candidacy at the University of the Philippines and late last month attended the forum for presidential candidates hosted by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

 Against Edca

On Tuesday, she appeared at the Senate to sponsor the resolution questioning the validity of the controversial Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) with the United States, saying it was not a ratified treaty by the Senate.

The resolution which was signed by 14 senators, with one objection and two abstentions, came as the Supreme Court was expected to decide on the agreement’s constitutionality and in the thick of preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Summit in Manila next week.


When she delivered her sponsorship speech and fielded questions from other senators, Santiago’s voice was described as uncharacteristically soft and trembling.

Even when she spoke with reporters afterward, she was reported to be gasping for breath.

Santiago’s voice was notably stronger at the TVET congress, but she was observed to be trembling slightly even as she interspersed her speech extolling the value of technical education with jokes, going off-script to denounce corruption among politicians, including unidentified colleagues in the Senate.

 Game with photo shoots

Afterward, she gamely posed for pictures with officials of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority onstage and while on her way to the exit, having instructed her liaison officer that she would not be entertaining any questions.

Reporters still managed to insert a few questions before Santiago entered the elevator while holding on to a staff member.

“Let’s just say this is not the best time for our President to deal with this matter (Edca) because apparently the President’s advisers’ option differ from the general public. So this has to be ironed out if possible among the Filipino people themselves,” she said.

She said she was ready for the rigors of a third presidential campaign. “I think the better way of testing the capability of a presidential candidate is not the strength of the machinery or organization but the strength of their brains,” she said.

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In July, Santiago said her cancer had been arrested and that she has been cleared by her doctors to run for President. But she has refused to disclose her medical records, invoking her right to privacy.

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