SENATOR Miriam Defensor-Santiago confirmed Thursday that Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is her running mate in next year’s election.
“I think we mutually chose each other, our two camps,” Santiago said on the sidelines of her induction into the Hall of Fame of the Philippine Judges Association at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.
Santiago, who said she had overcome cancer, said she will file her certificate of candidacy for president today (Friday), the last day of the five-day filing period set by the Commission on Elections.
Marcos did not confirm Santiago’s announcement, but issued a statement saying he had met with Santiago’s husband, Jun Santiago, to discuss the upcoming elections and possible alliances.
“We agreed to meet again soon,” he said.
The son and namesake of the late President Ferdinand Marcos filed his CoC on Tuesday, and was joined by his mother, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, and his wife, Liza Araneta-Marcos.
At a book signing for “Stupid is Forevermore,” the sequel to her best-selling joke book “Stupid is Forever,” Santiago announced she would run for President and would file her candidacy within the week.
“I think since I have served the government from the very beginning, I will end my career here,” said Santiago, who promised the country would be much better than it was before if she becomes President.
Santiago ran for President in 1992, but lost to former President Ramos in a hotly contested race that was marred by accusations of election fraud.
A former Quezon City Regional Trial Court judge, she was a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service. She was also an elected judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, but gave up the position due to health reasons.
Marcos’ sister, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, said the Marcos camp was in touch with Santiago, and said she was happy about the possible team-up.
The senator also hinted of the tandem on Wednesday when he tweeted his old photo with Santiago bearing the caption, “Remembering our RH [Reproductive Health law] deliberations #WayBackWednesday.
The photo showed Marcos and Santiago, both smiling while seated together during the Reproductive Health bill hearing in the Senate.
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, a nemesis of Santiago, said he was surprised Marcos is running with her.
Asked if the country would be in good hands, the 92-year-old Enrile joked: “I will not be here anyway. It’s up to you at that point.”
Marcos on Thursday said the Philippine National Police had to step up measures to deal with the expected flare-up of election-related violence.
“We are already dealing with serious problems on drugs, incidents of robberies, holdups, killings, and recent incidents of kidnapping. It’s but prudent for the PNP to intensify their preparations against the possible increase of election-related violence,” Marcos said.
The senator noted that last Monday Tungawan, Zamboanga-Sibugay Mayor Randy Climaco was slain in an ambush just hours after filing his certificate of candidacy at the local office of the Commission on Elections.
Six other people were injured in the ambush, including Tungawan Vice Mayor Abdurauf Abison.
“While authorities have yet to determine if this incident was indeed politically motivated, the timing sends a clear signal to the PNP to ramp up the preventive measures they are preparing to deter similar incidents that could occur as the election day draws nearer,” said Marcos who is the incumbent chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government.
After filing his CoC Tuesday, Marcos vowed to address rising criminality.
“The only way to do that is to provide full support to our law enforcement. In addition we have to bring back our focus on values formation,” Marcos said in a radio interview.
“Let’s bring back discipline. When I talk to ordinary people many of them say what we need is a stronger government that will run more efficiently,” he added.