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Miriam Santiago still an ‘unsure’ candidate—political analyst

'Miriam lacks organization, presence as presidential aspirant'
/ 12:12 PM November 26, 2015

A political analyst said that the perceived five-corner fight for the presidency in next year’s polls would be whittled down to only “four and a half” candidates as Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago remains an “unsure” presidential aspirant.

Institute for Political and Electoral Reform executive director and UP Diliman professor Ramon Casiple on Thursday is reluctant in considering Santiago as a sure contender for the 2016 elections because she has not yet formed a formidable political organization which will oversee her campaign.

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“I call it four and a half, ‘yung kalahati si Miriam (Defensor-Santiago). Si Miriam kasi nga I never thought na tatakbo siya. Wala siyang preparasyon, wala siyang observable na ginawa to prepare for her candidacy. Nagsasalita siya at nagre-react sa surveys. But sa probinsiya, wala kang makikita na nangyayari doon na may ‘Miriam organization.’ So may problema siya doon,” Casiple said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer.

(I call it four and a half, the half is Miriam [Defensor-Santiago]. Miriam, because I never thought she would run [for the presidency]. She made no preparation, no observable preparation for her candidacy. She talks about and reacts on surveys. But in the provinces, you would not see anything there that [points to] a “Miriam organization.” So, she has a problem there.)

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He said that Santiago’s organizational problem is not a concern for other presidential aspirants namely Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

“Yung apat talaga ang may kakayahan at nasa posisyon to launch a campaign,” he added.

(Those four really have the capacity and are in the position to launch a campaign.)

The political analyst also said that Santiago is suffering from an image problem, as some voters seemed unconvinced that the senator has already licked off her stage 4 lung cancer.

“Ang problem ni Miriam, ‘yung publicized niyang health problem, ay talagang nakadikit na sa kanya. Kahit sabihin niyang okay na ako, siyempre ang mga tao maghahanap agad [ng ebidensiya]. Anong ok eh parang uugod-ugod na, nung nag-file siya ng candidacy niya, parang hirap na hirap. Then ngayon, parang nawawala siya. For a presidential candidate, wala kang nakikitang movement, either sa organizing or sa media,” Casiple said.

(Miriam’s problem is that [the issue of] her publicized health problem has really stuck with her. Despite claiming that [she] is already okay, people would naturally look for [evidence]. What do you mean okay, when she looked frail when she filed her candidacy. Then, now, she seems absent. For a presidential candidate, you don’t see any movement, either in organizing or in the media.)

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In October, Santiago officially declared her intention to run for president saying that the Philippines will be a “much better country” if she will become president in the “near future.”

READ: ‘Third time’s the charm,’ says Miriam of presidential bid | Bongbong Marcos: Coalition with Duterte still possible

She also said that she is running for president because she has already “conquered” her disease.

She then filed her certificate of candidacy and announced later that Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is her running mate.

On Tuesday, Santiago said that she won’t back out from the presidential race next year following rumors that she will step down to give way to the candidacy of Duterte.

“I have high regard for Mayor Duterte but I will not back out from this race. Until victory!” Santiago said in a post on her Facebook page. CDG

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TAGS: Cancer, candidate, Elections 2016, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas, Miriam Santiago, Politics, President, Ramon Casiple, Rodrigo Duterte
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