The April 24 town hall presidential debate held at the PHINMA University of Pangasinan was graced by all five presidential bets, including Senator Miriam Santiago, who was absent during the previous formal discourse held in Visayas. Santiago was a no-show at the Cebu leg of the series because she had to undergo a clinical trial for a new anticancer pill.
During the Face-off portion, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was paired with Santiago, but instead of using his 15 seconds to ask a question about the latter's platform, he inquired about the state of her health, saying:
"Ma’am Miriam what can I ask of you? I am facing a woman who would become the President of the Republic of the Philippines. It is even an insult to the intellect of everybody to be asking a learned and experienced human being in this planet.
"Ang tanong ko, ma'am: How are you today?"
Watch the video below:
Santiago answered, "I’m almost back to normal good health because I’m on a secret pill that is not yet available in the market but is being sold at atrociously expensive prices. And it’s a miracle worker in the sense that I’m almost normal now."
Duterte replied, "Oh, come on. You will live for a thousand years. No doubt about it. I rest my case, Madam moderator."
Santiago took her allotted minute to explain further: "I have been the subject of much black propaganda concerning my health. I have never been false to the Filipino people. The moment I was diagnosed, I immediately called for a press conference and announced the status of my health. But, after consulting with my sister who is a doctor in the United States, I learned that there’s now a cancer revolution. There is a new cancer anti-drug almost every week. The only drawback is that they are too expensive. So, that’s why I have already returned to normal."
During the Fast Talk segment where the candidates are only supposed to answer yes or no along with a one-sentence explanation as needed, Santiago was asked by host Tony Velasquez: "Natalo niyo na po ba ang cancer?"
Santiago replied, "Hindi ko naman masabing natalo ko, pero nahinto ko. Kasi ang cancer, hindi mo makikita yan sa naked eye mo, sa mata mo. Kinakain niya ang mga katabi niya. Ngayon kung tama ang gamot, mahihinto yun sila at mamamatay. Namatay na sila."
Watch Santiago's Fast Talk round below:
During her closing statement, Santiago finished strong:
"We are not looking for an ordinary leader or an ordinary manager or administrator. We are looking for the President of the Philippines.
"I have not allowed my words to overcome my deeds. At, for those who think that I should withdraw because I have once been a cancer patient, this is what I say, “I am now normal. I can think and I can act and I can pray.” Ngayon, gusto niyo akong mag-urong? Sinasabi na nga ninyong nag-urong na si Miriam. Biro mo, ang lakas pati sa radyo? Ang sagot ko sa kanila, I will never quit. I will never stop. I will never withdraw."
Watch her full closing statement below:
Did you watch the last leg of the #PilipinasDebates2016 last night? Who are you voting for? Sound off by commenting below!