Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago takes a break from the Senate

Because health comes first.

Miriam Defensor Santiago

( Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago wrote to Senate President Franklin Drilon on Tuesday, May 24 that she will continue to be on medical leave until June 30, which also marks the end of her second six-year term. The graduating senator was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2014, and has been on sick leave because of chronic fatigue syndrome. "One of the medications has produced a side effect of anorexia (inability to eat), which renders me physically and mentally weak," her letter said


Despite her medical condition, Santiago ran for president in the May elections. She joined an international clinical trial for a new anti-cancer pill in March 2016, which led her to miss the second presidential debate in Cebu. Aside from free medication, which would otherwise cost about P500,000 every three weeks, the trial also includes daily radiation treatment.

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