Miriam back in fighting form, hits surveys
Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is back in fighting form after the physical strain she endured from participating in the three-hour televised presidential debate in Pangasinan three days ago.
Resuming her campus tours on Wednesday at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) campus in Laguna, Santiago accused polling firms of conspiring to pull down her rankings in voter preference surveys to force her to withdraw from the presidential race.
She claimed she had been offered P300 million to quit.
“I’m in a bad position,” Santiago admitted, going off-script from her prepared speech.
“They pull down my standing in the surveys to discourage contributors. If I have no more contributors, I have no more funding. Then if I have no more funding, they will force me to withdraw (from the race) and they will supposedly give me up to P300 million to reimburse my campaign expenses,” she told students who filled UPLB’s Baker Hall to see her.
“But I’m from UP. What will I do with that money? I’ll grow old before I finish counting it. So let’s just go ahead and keep on fighting until we reach our goal,” Santiago said.
The senator was incredulous at her single-digit voter preference rating in all the preelection surveys conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia.
“It would not matter if it were because I started to campaign late or because I am sick. But how come in all universities wherever you go, why am I always number one (in their surveys)?” Santiago asked.
“If we go along with the commercial survey firms, they will be the ones to choose our next leaders. That cannot be. So I hope you will go to your homes and your neighborhoods and tell them about this sorry conspiracy,” she added.
Santiago, who has won all her senatorial campaigns but has lost her two attempts at the presidency, admitted her campaign contributions have dried up due to the preelection surveys.
She returned to the campaign trail only last week after a near six-week absence to participate in a clinical trial of an experimental drug for cancer which she claimed has restored her health.
In several instances during the final presidential debate held in Dagupan City on April 24, Santiago appeared to have difficulty keeping her concentration.
At one point midway into the debate, she lost her train of thought completely and asked the host to repeat the question.
In her closing remarks, however, Santiago insisted: “I will never quit. I will never stop. I will never withdraw.”
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