Will Miriam Santiago be back on the campaign trail?
MANILA, Philippines – Presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago will be back on the campaign trail next week, at least according to her running mate Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
The vice presidential candidate disclosed to reporters on Wednesday, April 6, that he and Santiago are cooking up something for next week.
“I think we will have a joint appearance. There are no details so far, but we will announce it as soon we have it,” Marcos said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Santiago, who is at the tail end of pre-election surveys, has been inactive in her 3rd bid for the presidency, only depending on press releases and her youth army to campaign for her.
She also missed the second leg of the presidential debate last March 20 because she had to participate in a trial for a new anti-cancer pill for her medication. (READ: Miriam's absence big loss in Cebu debate – Bongbong Marcos)
Together only twice
Santiago and Marcos have only been seen together twice since the campaign season started. First was during their proclamation rally in Ilocos Norte last February 9. Second was more than a month ago when they bared their Senate slate and the Youth for Miriam volunteer movement was launched on February 14.
Marcos has been repeatedly asked about Santiago’s health condition and her physical capacity to continue campaigning. His answers have been limited to Santiago still being capable to campaign and that they decided to split and campaign for their tandem in their respective strongholds: youth for Santiago and local government units for Marcos.
But the leading vice presidential candidate has yet to actually campaign for his president as he rarely speaks of her in most of his sorties. No “Miriam-Bongbong” posters have been spotted in rallies he has attended and provinces visited. It was also earlier reported that Marcos’ cousin Martin Romualdez has been the more visible “partner” for him.
The senator, for his part, has constantly defended that he is including Santiago in his talks to local political allies.
But for Youth for Miriam chairperson Rhyan Pines Malandong, it seems the vice presidential candidate is endorsing another “presidentiable.”
In Marcos’ poem posted on Facebook last week, Malandong aired his frustration in the comments box.
He said that in their caravans they had been actively campaigning not just for Santiago but for their tandem. But the senator’s Facebook post for Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a leading presidential candidate, shows disrespect for his standard-bearer.
“Hindi naman po masamang bumati sa kaibigan, pero nasa gitna po tayo ng kampanya/halalan at magkalaban po kayo, hindi ho ba? Ito ay senyales ng hindi pagrespeto sa inyong ka-tandem na si Sen. Miriam,” Malandong wrote.
(It’s not bad to greet a friend, but we are in the middle of the campaign/election and you are rivals, aren’t you? This is a sign of disrespect for your partner Senator Miriam.) – Rappler.com
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- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
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