Press Release
April 13, 2016


Presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago returned to the campaign trail on Wednesday with a homecoming rally at the University of the Philippines Visayas campus in Iloilo City with her running mate Bongbong Marcos.

Santiago met some 2,000 supporters, many of whom were wearing red, the senator's campaign colors since she first ran for president in 1992. The crowd spilled over from the auditorium into the campus grounds, where seats were also set up.

"Today I ask you: Convince, persuade your parents and those nearest you to use their wits this elections," the senator said, as she reiterated her demand for academic, professional, and moral excellence among people seeking public office.

"If it were up to me, presidential candidates would be taking an IQ test," she quipped, switching in English, Filipino, and Ilonggo.

This is Santiago's first appearance since she announced late March that she will join clinical trials for a new anti-cancer pill. She was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage four, but has continued to fulfill her Senate duties before declaring her Malacañang bid.

The campus visit is also Santiago's third event with Marcos. They were first seen together in Ilocos Norte, where they launched their so-called north-south coalition campaign, and again in Metro Manila for the launch of Youth of Miriam.

Santiago has been dubbed the "president of campuses," having topped the following university surveys conducted since the filing of certificates of candidacy in October:

  • De La Salle University Manila, 75 percent;

  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines, 64 percent;

  • Universilty of the Philippines (U.P.) Los Baños, 86 percent;

  • University of Santo Tomas, 66 percent;

  • Ateneo De Manila University, 36.6 percent;

  • U.P. Manila, 59.5 percent;

  • University of Northern Philippines, 35.85 percent;

  • Malayan Colleges Laguna, 54.7 percent;

  • Colegio de San Juan de Letran, 58.5 percent;

  • U.P. Diliman, 41.6 percent;

  • Holy Angel University, 40 percent;

  • University of Asia and the Pacific, 43.2 percent;

  • Adamson University, 64 percent;

  • Ateneo de Naga University, 37.4 percent;

  • U.P. Baguio, 78.2 percent;

  • Philippine Normal University, 76 percent;

  • Arellano University, 36 percent; and

  • De La Salle University - Lipa, 32 percent.

Santiago has also previously said that her campaign will bank heavily on her strong social media base. With some 3.4 million followers on Facebook and 2.4 million on Twitter, Santiago has the biggest social media clout among the presidential candidates.

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