Outgoing Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago will continue her medical leave with only several weeks to go before her Senate term expires next month.
In a brief letter to Senate President Franklin Drilon dated May 24, the veteran legislator explained that one of the medications she is taking to combat lung cancer has made her anorexic or unable to eat. According to her, this rendered her physically and mentally weak.
“In any event, my staff and I shall be ready to vacate our offices by June 30, 2016,” she wrote. Santiago first won a Senate seat in 1995 before losing her reelection bid in 2001. She was able to return in 2004 and was elected again in 2010. She is prohibited by the 1987 Constitution from seeking a third consecutive Senate term but she is eligible to run again in 2019.
Santiago was one of the candidates for president in this year’s presidential elections, losing to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. During the campaign period, she lagged behind her competitors in terms of sorties held and in media advertising. In the end, lingering questions about her health contributed to her fifth place finish in the race.