Miriam beats cancer, eyes presidency
Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Feisty Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago says she has beaten cancer and is now eyeing another run for the nation’s highest office.

In a statement, Santiago yesterday said Mark Kris of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York had a consultation with her and her team of local doctors – composed of former health secretary Esperanza Cabral, Gary Lorenzo and Ruth Divinagracia – last Friday at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City.

After examining her PET and CT scans, which Kris had fully studied in his New York clinic, Santiago said she was informed that the cancer growth in her left lung has been arrested.

Although no patient can be pronounced cured of cancer, Kris said the senator, by following medical prescriptions, has been able to control the cancer.

Santiago previously said she would consider running for president in 2016 if her health improves. But in a separate statement, she also admitted she lacked financial resources to back a possible presidential campaign.

Santiago said yesterday she was “happily surprised” by the results of a survey on voter preference for the presidential polls conducted by consultancy firm Publicus Asia, which showed her in second place behind Sen. Grace Poe.

“To remain in the consciousness of voters despite an absence of over a year is certainly a challenge, including remaining in public service. And I consider it in that light,” she said.

In June 2014, Santiago announced that she has stage four lung cancer, eventually forcing her to give up her seat as a judge in the International Criminal Court based in The Hague, the Netherlands.

If she runs for president in 2016, this would be Santiago’s third presidential bid – the first during the 1992 elections, during which Fidel Ramos won by a small margin, and the second during the 1998 polls, where she lost to Joseph Estrada.

Based on recent developments, it appears that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II would be the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party, with Poe running as an independent and Vice President Jejomar Binay as the standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.

Santiago’s entry in the presidential race could very well shake things up for the three politicians due to her popularity among the younger voters and her strong presence in social media.

ACIRC ESPERANZA CABRAL FEISTY SEN FIDEL RAMOS GARY LORENZO AND RUTH DIVINAGRACIA GRACE POE IN JUNE INTERIOR SECRETARY MANUEL ROXAS INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT NEW YORK SANTIAGO
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