No surrender for Miriam despite poor survey ratings
Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago continued to pursue youth voters on Friday, this time at the Our Lady of Fatima University in Valenzuela, amid poor performance in survey ratings.
Hundreds of shrieking students and faculty at the VJ7 basketball court warmly welcomed the senator who stayed for around 30 minutes to give a speech and grant photo opportunities. The crowd cheered and applauded the introduction to her prior the speech, which highlighted her academic and professional achievements.
Since the campaign launch last Feb. 9, Friday’s event was only the senator’s sixth public appearance and fifth speaking engagement. The latest Pulse Asia survey showed that Santiago was trailing behind other presidential bets getting the nod of only 3 percent of the 1,800 respondents, even lower than the 4 percent undecided voters.
Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar BInay shared the top spot in the survey with 26 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Both Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and former Interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II were at 21 percent.
But Santiago, whose stage 4 lung cancer is in remission, seemed to be undeterred: “Even if we gather in this hot place, notwithstanding the inconvenience, we have pledged today to fight for our country…I will never stop. I will never quit. I will never surrender,” she told the crowd in the sweltering heat.
After she opened her speech with pick-up lines that amused the crowd, the senator took a swipe at her fellow presidential candidates who campaigned before the official period.
“Sa ilalim ng batas ang commencement of campaign period is on Feb . 9 pero bago yan nagkampanya na at malaking pera na ang nilagay ng mga kandidato sa advertisements sa TV. May bilyon na, san nila kinuha ang mga bilyon na yan?” she said.
(Under the law, the commencement of the campaign period is on Feb. 9, but prior to that, many have campaigned and candidates have put big money into TV advertisements. It has reached billions, where do they get those billions?)
In the same speech, Santiago emphasized to the youth that a leader must have academic, professional and moral excellence.
“Dapat yung pinakamarunong sa atin ang leader ‘yung hindi pinaka-gago. ‘Yung makita ko pa lang kung ano-ano ang sinasabi,” she said.
(He or she who is the most intelligent among us must be the leader, not the most crooked. [Not the one] who talks nonsense.)
But the senator stressed that possessing moral excellence was the most important of all.
“We should able to live our lives in a moral way that we can always face our creator [and say] that I did my best for Your greater glory and salvation of my soul,” she said.
Santiago also hit another colleague for womanizing but did not identify who it was.
“Alam nila kung sino sila. Sila nagmumukang mabait kunwari. Pero alam namin sa senado di pa sila umuuwi nagtatawagan na sila sa cell phone ng mga kerida nila,” she said.
(They know who they are. They make themselves appear decent. But we know in the senate that even before they leave [the Senate] they are already talking with their mistresses on their cell phones.)
Santiago will continue her speaking engagements to college students at Eastern Visayas State University in Tacloban on March 7 and University of Mindanao in Davao City on March 10. CDG