By Jefferson Antiporda
Indicating that she should be the country’s next president, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has admitted that she is considering at least three potential running mates for 2016.
Santiago’s choices for vice president are Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rudy” Duterte, former Defence Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro and Sen. Grace Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial race.
“I think I should be president because it is now so difficult to be president of this country. Everybody in this country who is holding a high office or with high power is feckless meaning irresponsible, they don’t have any feeling that my brother is my responsibility,” she told a media briefing.
Santiago said Duterte would make an excellent vice president and would be a big help in law enforcement.
“I’d love to run with Rudy Duterte, but he himself said he will not run for public office,” the feisty senator added.
Duterte is known for his strong stance against criminality and illegal drugs as well as strict enforcement of laws.
Santiago also sees Teodoro as a worthy running mate.
“But he told me personally before that it’s now or never and apparently he is making it never, so we never know,” the senator said.
Teodoro served as congressman of Tarlac. In 2010, he ran for president but lost to his cousin, then-Senator Benigno Aquino.
Santiago also admitted considering Poe as running mate. “Maybe Miriam and Grace, which sounds like (the name of) a restaurant,” she said in jest.
According to her, she ruled out Sen. Pia Cayetano because the latter will be loyal to her brother, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who may run for president. Sen. Nancy Binay is also out because she will surely support her father, Vice President Jejomar Binay, who already declared his intention to run in 2016.
“But anyway, we are using Grace because Miriam and Grace sounds charming,” Santiago said.
Poe expressed appreciation for being included in Santiago’s list of likely vice presidential bets but she maintained that she has no plans to run for higher office.
“It is heartwarming to be regarded in such a way by Sen. Santiago, who is one of the sharpest minds in the Senate,” she said.
But Santiago said her presidential bid will depend on the rate of her recovery from cancer.
She noted that she may abandon her plan to seek the country’s highest post if she does not fully recover from lung cancer by December.
If her political plan falls through, the senator said she may join an international advisory council or a non-government organisation or write a book.
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