Senator Miriam Defensor admits to being offered up to P300 million to back out of the presidential race, but she refuses to give up.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters in the University of the Philippines - Los Baños, the senator framed her poor performance in the surveys as a ploy to discourage contributors.
She said, according to an Inquirer report: “Ang hirap ng kalagayan ko, pinapababa nila ang standing ko sa surveys para mawalan ng gana ang contributors. Pag walang contributors, walang funding. Pag walang funding, pipilitin mag-withdraw at bibigyan daw nila ako ng up to P300 million ang expenses ko."
(The difficult part about my situation is that they pull my standing down in the surveys so the contributors would lose interest. If there are no contributors, there will be no funding. If there is no funding, I'll be forced to withdraw and they said they'd give me up to P300 million for my expenses.)
"Taga-UP ata ako. Aanhin ko ang perang iyon? Tatanda na ako bago matapos bilangin yun,” she added.
(But I'm from the University of the Philippines. What would I do with that money? I'd grow old before I'd finish counting it.)
She did not disclose where the offer came from.
The presidential candidate, who consistently placed last according to election surveys, has warned against the overwhelming influence survey firms have over the electorate, calling them the new "kingmaker."
“Kung susundin natin ang kagustuhan ng survey firms, they will be the ones to choose our next leaders. Our right to vote will be forfeited in their favor. Sila ngayon ang magiging kingmaker niyan. Hindi naman pwede yun."
(If we follow the whims of survey firms, they will be the ones to choose our next leaders. Our right to vote will be forfeited in their favor. They would now become the kingmaker. But that shouldn't be the case.)
After a considerably long period of absence due to cancer, the senator has come back claiming a new anti-cancer drug that helped suppress the virus. She said it was extremely expensive.
Critics have always attacked her, not necessarily based on the flaws of her platforms or the inadequacies of her credentials, but because of her failing health.
Her recovery to fighting form, which may not be as vicious as she was before but still quite intimidating, allowed her to participate in the final leg of the PiliPinas Debates before the May elections.