For now, Miriam vows not to run for president in 2016

Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago vows not to run for president again--at least for the 2016 elections.

After giving a lecture at the Far Eastern University on Thursday, Santiago declined proposals from student leaders for her to join the presidential race in 2016.

“(I am) not interested in running for president,” Santiago told around 1,000 students who asked her to run for president with Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as her running mate. 

“After winning the elections for new judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC), I am bound to report for work at The Netherlands to assume office,” she explained.

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Santiago was elected as a judge in ICC after receiving 79 out of 104 valid votes during the 10th session of the Assembly of States Parties in New York on December 2011.

In March, the feisty lady senator failed to take oath as the first Asian from a developing country to sit as a judge in the international court due to hypertension and pressing roles in the Senate.

Santiago told students she want to work for nine years in international law so she may be able to practice what she learned in University of Michigan, where she earned a doctorate on juridical science.

Her media relations officer Tom Tolibas confirmed she is willing to resign from her post as a member of the Upper House even before her term ends in 2016.

“As of now, we have not yet received any word as to when she can assume post. We have to wait until there is a new case for her to handle (in ICC),” Tolibas explained.

The ICC is an independent international body and is the first permanent international court that decides on crimes against humanity.

However, Santiago advised students to look out for various distortions in choosing candidates for the upcoming senatorial elections.

She explained the lack of education among voters and candidates actually distorts the so-called voter participation in elections.

"Elections are distorted because under our system, the successful candidate might be the choice of only a minority,” Santiago said.

“This was what happened when the people and I were robbed of the presidency in 1992. The person who claimed that he won the presidential election was only a plurality president," she noted.

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Santiago also identified the control of political parties of choosing which candidates to field before the electorate as another distortion.

Santiago ran but lost to former President Fidel Ramos in the 1992 national elections.