MANILA – Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Wednesday said she would consider running again for president on one condition.
Santiago, in her keynote speech during the commencement exercises of University of the Philippines Cebu, said she might considering running for president again if all those ''substantially involved'' in the pork barrel scam are brought to trial.
"If all the crooks who are substantially involved in the pork barrel scam are brought to trial before the court, then I will consider running for president,'' the feisty senator said.
''We need to start and commit with the chance of cleaning up government. And I'm not going to run for president and run the entire country while these crooks are in the environment."
Santiago lost to Fidel Ramos in the 1992 elections by less than 1 million votes. She later accused the former military general of cheating but her electoral protest was dismissed.
She is also considered one of the fiercest enemies of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the respondents in the case involving the alleged plunder of pork barrel funds.
Santiago made this comment following the release of the result of a Pulse Asia survey showing her third among the top "preferred presidential" candidates for 2016.
The Pulse Asia survey was conducted last March 19 to 26, 2014 among 1,200 respondents all over the country.
The respondents were shown a prepared list of names and asked: "Of the people in this list, whom would you vote for if the 2016 presidential elections were held today and they were candidates?"
Topping the survey was Vice President Jejomar Binay, who has long declared his plan to run in 2016, with 40 percent or 4 out of 10 respondents saying they would vote for him.
Neophyte Senator Grace Poe came in second with 15 percent. Santiago was third with 10 percent.
Following Santiago were Senator Francis Escudero with 9 percent, and Interior secretary Manuel ''Mar'' Roxas II with 6 percent.
Completing the list were Senator Bongbong Marcos with 5 percent, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with 4 percent, presidential sister and actress Kris Aquino with 4 percent, Senator Ramon ''Bong'' Revilla Jr. with 3 percent, and Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Ping Lacson with 2 percent. - with a report from Randy Jainar, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas