Santiago to skip Comelec debate to try new anticancer pill
Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago will not attend the debate hosted by the Commission on Elections in Cebu on Sunday to undergo a clinical trial for a new anticancer pill.
“I am very sorry to miss out on the debates, but it would be a disservice to the country if I forego the opportunity to get rid of my cancer completely and strengthen myself further to serve the Filipino people,” Santiago said in a statement on Thursday.
The senator, who was diagnosed with a stage 4 lung cancer in 2014 but claimed she is in remission, joined an international clinical trial to gain free access to the medication, which would have cost her-half-a-million pesos every three weeks.
The trial will require Santiago to undergo outpatient radiation treatment daily at a hospital for a short period.
The senator said she will try to participate in the next and last presidential debate on April 24 “if the ongoing treatments do not inhibit her.”
Santiago, who is banking on her social media presence and the so-called youth vote, is doing poorly in election surveys. Since the campaign launch last Feb. 9, she only appeared publicly six times.
Her official campus visits in Tacloban and Davao City last week were cancelled “due to logistical concerns.” A planned homecoming in Iloilo with running mate Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Monday was also rescheduled to a later date. TVJ
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