Santiago to skip Senate session, shun media interviews-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago will not attend the resumption of Senate session on Monday because she has to rest following an outburst in a television interview over her disagreement with the distribution of money to other senators before Christmas.
On Wednesday, Santiago discussed her position that the Christmas gift from Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile of some P2 million in public funds to every senator is unconstitutional and unethical.
She was also irked upon learning Enrile's supposed personal attacks on her.
Sought for comment, Enrile said he will pray for Santiago's recovery.
"Hindi na nga ako umiimik eh para tumigil siya. Pero hindi naman siya tumitigil. Ako naman ayoko namang makipagdebate sa kanya kasi natatakot ako sa utak niya. I am sorry she has to suffer that kind of pressure," he told reporters.
According to her doctors, Santiago developed hypertension after the show, causing some of the blood vessels in her right eye to burst.
"If Senator Santiago reports to the Senate on Monday, she might have a sudden rise in blood pressure and suffer either a stroke or a heart attack. She already had a mild stroke some 10 years ago," Dr. Esperanza Cabral said, which the senator affirmed.
Cabral, the senator's cardiologist, said Santiago’s two younger brothers died separately because of heart attacks in their sleep.
"With that kind of medical history, Senator Santiago will be placing herself in harm’s way if she continues her battle against her fellow senators. I have told her that her political enemies might be dancing on her grave if she continues to fight them singlehandedly," Cabral said.
For his part, Santiago’s ophthalmologist, Dr. Rodolfo Chuanico of East Avenue Medical Center, said the blood clot in her right eye is already a warning that another abrupt increase in blood pressure might cause a stroke.
Santiago's spokesperson Tom Tolibas, said following her doctors’ advice, she will have to decline media interviews until her blood pressure stabilizes.
Chuanico added that he asked Santiago to avoid provocation that might incite her to anger, because she needs to be healthy, in case the International Criminal Court based in The Netherlands calls her to duty this March.
Santiago, upon waking Thursday, had a blood pressure of 184/100, Cabral said.
"Dr. Cabral pulled me out of my first stroke. I was temporarily paralyzed, but I got over it. She is one of the most respected cardiologists in our country. I have to follow her instructions," the senator said.
Congress will resume session on Monday but has to adjourn on February 9 to give way for the election campaign period. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)