BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Is there a law that demands that presidential candidate Senator Miriam Santiago should be required to submit to mandatory medical check-up to establish her health status?
There is none but Santiago should make public the status of her health to validate her claim that she has licked her stage-four cancer.
If ordinary Pinoys are required to undergo neuro-psychiatric or drug test for employment in government or when they seek, say a driver’s license, from a government agency, why should not we demand that Santiago submit to tests to establish her mental and medical status?
This is what a Dr. Sylvia Estrada Claudio wants Santiago to do to abort Pinoys from voting a President in the 2016 election who could “expire” while in office from a deadly disease like cancer that Santiago admitted she had but was cured by a “miracle.”
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Dr. Claudio doubts that Santiago is cured and in an open letter requested that Santiago’s health record be made public.
If Santiago did not receive a miracle, there is a great probability that she will not survive a 6-year term should she win, said the doctor.
But Santiago would have none of the doctor’s request.
Reacting, Santiago said: No.
In an interview, Santiago said: That’s my right to privacy. Ngayon, if she wants to, she can go to St. Luke’s Global in Makati and she can formally ask there in writing, then St. Luke’s will follow their protocol.”
Although her chances of winning is slim, Santiago should come clean about her health before the Filipino people to spare voters from a morbid scenario of seeing the name of a ‘dying Miriam’ in the ballot.
Or a President Santiago dying in office as Dr. Claudio fears.
Honesty is among attributes voters seek from candidates during elections.
Santiago should divulge her medical record to validate her claim that she is cured of cancer.
And if Santiago reveals her health status, she may also be asked to submit to a psychiatric test to dispute insinuations that she is a “Brenda.”
“Brenda” is a smear tag coined from “brain-damaged” referring to Santiago by her critics in media when she run for president in the 1992 election where she was beaten by President Fidel Ramos.
Whether she is “Brenda” or not, this should be the right time to put closure to this cruel tag heaped on the Senator known for her motor mouth.
The country needs a President who is physically and mentally healthy.
Santiago has still to prove the first by baring her medical status that should show she is healthy and without her cancer.
Her mental health is also important as it brings us back to the 1992 election and the “Brenda” tag by media on Santiago.
“Ako naman, alam na ng media ang mga deprensya ko,” Santiago said in jest during an interview where she reacted to Dr. Claudio’s request that her medical record be made public.
But the presidency is no joke. Santiago should bare her medical record to show that she is as healthy as her loud mouth, as well as her mental record to establish that she is not a “Brenda.”
Santiago should do a Duterte to put an end to speculations about her physical and mental health.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, a top contender to the presidency but who is not running despite strong public clamor, said he would be willing to divulge his health records to deny allegations he had cancer of the throat peddled by a propagandist of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas.
The psychiatric test on Santiago should in fact be mandatory as she has been noticed of late to be hallucinating of a victory in a four-cornered fight with Interior secretary Mar Roxas of President Benigno Aquino’s Liberal Party, Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and independent Senator Grace Poe.
Santiago, running without a strong party backing her and luring a noose to hang herself with the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Bongbong Marcos, as her vice president, is going crazy with her predictions that she will win the election.
She says Binay would be jailed by the Sandiganbayan over graft charges, Poe would be disqualified from running for lack of residency and citizenship requirements to run for president, leaving her and Roxas in the race to Malacanang.
Santiago said her chances of winning the election is sure with Binay locked in jail during the campaign period.