Marcos says Miriam is healthy enough to campaign

Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - On Day Three, Senator and vice-presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. again went on the campaign trail without his running-mate, presidential aspirant Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. 

Marcos said he was assured by his running-mate, who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in June 2014, that she is healthy enough to campaign. 

"She is in remission from her condition. Sabi niya, kaya naman daw niya," he said.

He explained that he and Santiago have to come to an agreement that there will be times that they will be together and times they will campaign separately to cover as many places as possible. 

"Hindi kami magkasama palagi. Kahit naman anong tandem, naghihiwalay para mas maraming mapuntahan," he said. 

"May karamdaman si Senator Miriam. Minsan, kailangan niya magpagamot. Nandito naman ako para mangampanya para sa kanya." 

Marcos also said that as previously planned, Santiago will focus more on the youth sector where she has a strong following while he will focus on local leaders. 

Santiago earlier announced that she had "licked" cancer after taking medication, which she dubbed "wonder" pills.

Last year, she announced that she had conquered the illness and is ready to join the presidential race.

Santiago joined Marcos on the campaign trail for the first time during the campaign kick-off in Batac, Ilocos Norte last Tuesday.

She told the crowd that if their tandem wins the elections and something happens to her, the Philippines will be in good hands with Marcos as president. 

"If I die before I finish my six-year term, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will be able to fit that bill," she said. 


On Thursday, Marcos again tried to cement the "Solid North" votes for their tandem as he continued to campaign in the Ilocos Region.

In San Juan, La Union, Marcos was met by local leaders at the town hall. He called on fellow Ilocanos to rally behind him and let the Solid North experience to come across the whole nation. 

"Extend natin ang Solid North. Gawin nating solid Philippines," Marcos said to the delight of the crowd. 

Marcos blamed the House of Representatives for the failure of Congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law. 

"Kahit anong gawin namin, kung hindi natapos sa House, hindi rin matatapos sa Senado. It did not gain support from the congressman," he said. 

The vice-presidential aspirant said lawmakers intentionally absented themselves from the session to avoid passing the bill despite strong support from President Aquino. 

"Tinataguan ng mga congressman dahil pipilitin silang suportahan," he claimed. 

He also blamed the government peace panel for crafting what he believes is an unfair proposal for a Bangsamoro region. "Ang peace panel, ang assumption [nila] ang lahat ng Muslim ay pare-pareho," Marcos said, adding that Muslims in Mindanao belong to different tribes. 

He, however, is hopeful that the peace process will continue despite the death of the BBL under the Aquino administration. "Kailangan ipagpatuloy ang prosesong pangkapayapaan," he said.