Santiago fends off criticisms about health
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago appeared fragile at the country’s first presidential debate in two decades on Sunday, after she was caught sitting down several times more than her opponents.
Despite her frail disposition, Santiago fended off criticisms about her health in the debate, saying the Constitution does not prohibit anyone from running for public office if one has an illness.
Santiago was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer but said she has “licked it.”
“Hindi mo ba alam na ang sakit tumataas o bumaba o mawawala. Nagtatanong ka bakit, may sakit ka, bakit tumatakbo ka. Karapatan ko yan under our constitution,” she said.
“Wala naman sa Constitution na provision that if you get sick you are disqualified,” she said.
The first Comelec debate was organized with the Philippine Daily Inquirer and GMA Network.
Other than Santiago, the rest of the presidential candidates — Vice President Jejomar Binay, administration-backed Mar Roxas, Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte also participated in the event.
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