Sen. Santiago targets running for presidency in 2016

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Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has announced that she has controlled her cancer and is now eyeing the country's top position.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago announced on Wednesday (July 22) that she is now eyeing running for presidency in the upcoming national elections.

Santiago, through a press statement, said that she was “happily surprised” by the results of the Publicus Asia Survey, which named her as one of the top presidential bets.

Related: Poe, Santiago, and Binay bag top 3 on presidentiables list

Santiago placed second to Senator Grace Poe, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Francis Escudero, Davao City Mayor Rodolfo Duterte, and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, respectively.

For Santiago, it is an achievement to still be preferred by the public despite her absence from her senatorial duties.

“To remain in the consciousness of voters despite an absence of over a year is certainly a challenge, including remaining in public service. And I consider it in that light,” Santiago said.

'Cancer growth arrested'

Santiago also announced that she has been able to control her cancer.

The senator’s oncologist, Dr. Mark Kris, said that although no patient can be pronounced cured of cancer, Santiago's cancer growth in her left lung has been "arrested."

The announcement came after the senator's consultation with Kris and her team of local doctors: Dr. Esperanza Cabral, cardiologist; Dr. Gary Lorenzo, oncologist; and Dr. Ruth Divinagracia, pulmonologist, on Friday (July 17).

With greater awareness for her health, Santiago, who is still on medical leave from the Senate, walks two kilometers everyday.

The senator, who had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer earlier, had previously signified her intention to run for president — if and when her condition improved.