Press Release
November 24, 2008

By Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago

I have decided to join the new majority, because it still partly consists of the administration bloc to which I belong. I have been absent and silent so far, because I am sick of diarrhea, which could be due to intestinal flu or my old amoebiasis.

I was clueless about the Senate coup. In my entire Senate career, the plotters never consulted me beforehand. Either I don't count, or I am considered unapproachable.

Thus, when Sen. Enrile called me several times on the Sunday before the coup, I had no clue that he wished me to sign the coup resolution. I had intestinal flu, was in bed, and had requested my husband to field all my phone calls. To say that I was avoiding him is a misimpression. I do not avoid; I confront.

Immediately after the coup, Sen. Mar Roxas very kindly and gallantly invited me to join the majority. I had reservations, because I was ill and just could not deal with the unexpected development. But he was indefatigable on my behalf, and I thank him profusely.

In a jocular way, I was in a dilemma. At the start of this Congress, the Senate administration bloc allied itself with a sector of the opposition, to become part of the majority. At that time, administration senators were accused of sleeping with the enemy. Now, the administration bloc has again allied itself, but this time with a different sector of the opposition, to form the new majority. Hence, it might seem to critics that the administration bloc to which I belong has become a serial adulterer.

I caught a bad cold in New York , and brought it with me to Manila . Instead of resting, I immediately plunged into my Senate duties. Hence, at the Dela Paz hearing shown on TV, I had to stop presiding and leave, because of exhaustion from my deteriorating cold. I even cancelled at the last minute my scheduled trip to Peru with President Arroyo.

On the weekend prior to the coup, in addition to my cold, I succumbed to diarrhea. On my doctor's advice, I took a course of antibiotics. But then I developed dizziness. And paradoxically, today when I had planned to report to the Senate, I find that my diarrhea has returned.

It is not true that I "demanded" certain committees. I had read that Sen. Enrile was calling for senators to express their committee preferences, and I complied with a brief letter. It is not true that I am feigning illness. My family physicians are Dr. Esperanza Cabral and her daughter Dr. Sandy Cabral Prodigalidad.

It is unfair and malicious to impute these and any other kind of negative actuations to me. I assure my critics that if I were not bedridden, I would educate them physically.

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