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  • Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago yesterday endorsed business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan as president in next year’s 2016 May elections. Speaking before employees of Maynilad, a water utility firm which Pangilinan chairs, Santiago mentioned Pangilinan as a viable option for president in the upcoming  presidential elections.

    “What do you want for the Philippines in 2016? Why are we going to hold elections when there has been no mirrian-endorses-mvpimprovement from those who were elected before?” Santiago said.

    “I want you think about Mr. Manny Pangilinan for president of the Republic of the Philippines,” she said. When asked if she just made an endorsement for Pangilinan, Santiago affirmed she did.

    Apart from Maynilad, also under the MVP group of companies are Smart Communications, Philippine Long Distance Telecommunications (PLDT), Meralco, Metro Pacific, and TV 5.

    “Yes, it is (an endorsement). It’s people like him who should be elected to positions of leadership,” she said.

    “It should not be people from highly publicized career because their careers where they are the leading celebrities might blind them to the fact that their qualifications are sufficient for the job. I’m particularly talking about people from mass media, film and television,” added the feisty senator who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Santiago previously expressed her desire to also run for president in 2016.

    Asked what qualifications she has in mind for those running for president, Santiago said they should above all be honest and professionally and academically excellent.

    “My qualifications are, number one, the president should be honest but that’s the most difficult qualification to determine because there’s no guaranteed test for honesty in public service. Second is professional excellence and the third is academic excellence,” she emphasized. (H. Torregoza, mb)

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