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Miriam skips Cebu debate for clinical trial of cancer pill

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential aspirant Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Thursday announced that she will not attend the second presidential debate in Cebu on Sunday.

The senator will undergo a clinical trial for a new anti-cancer pill, her office said in a press statement.

"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.

The senator will join the international clinical trial to gain free access to medication, which would cost about P500,000 every three weeks.

The trial will require the senator to report for outpatient radiation treatment at the hospital daily for a short period, the statement said.

Santiago said that she will try to participate in the third presidential debate in Pangasinan on April 24 if the ongoing treatment will allow her.

RELATED: 4 takeaways and commentary from the Mindanao presidential debate

Santiago announced last July that she had beaten stage four lung cancer and that she would run for president if her health improves.

The cancer had forced her to forego a seat on the International Criminal Court although she had been on medical leave from the Senate because of her chronic fatigue syndrome even before that.

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