In speaking before her audience of graduates in the University of the Philippines-Cebu (UP-Cebu) 77th Commencement Exercises, Sen. Miriam Santiago cracked a few jokes, like asking them to use “Obama” in a sentence.
“When I am alone, I am Obama-self (all by myself),” Santiago said, drawing laughter from the audience. She followed it up with a few more jokes and ended her introduction with a joke on corruption.
The senator’s speech centered on her appeal to graduates to live live to the fullest and to stand against corruption. “Grab life,” she said. “Grab it with both hands. Change the world. But first, change yourself,” she said.
Santiago also railed against corruption in government. “Non-government organizations (NGOs) steal money from government. Why are they called NGOs? They should be called official thieves,” she said in Tagalog.
In a press conference outside the Cebu Cultural Center Santiago said if all those involved in the pork barrel scam were brought to trial, she may consider “running for president.”
“In my estimate, a run for the presidency needs P2 billion. “I’m hoping very much that before I’m finished with my life on earth-because I’m very, very sure I’ll have a life in another environment-I would like very much to help in a national effort, to change this culture of corruption. But I am afraid that I do not have the resources. That is the only thing that’s holding me back,” Santiago said.
She also said she doesn’t need to defend herself if she gets implicated in the pork barrel scandal.
“I’ve already foreseen this probability that everyone will be included in the scandal so that nobody will understand anymore who are the real suspects,” Santiago said.
Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago Cebu Presson Excerpt (Video taken by CDN Correspondent Bjorn Tabanera)