Santiago tells youth: 'You have a duty to challenge the status quo'

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Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was the guest speaker at Bulacan State University's commencement exercises on Monday (April 18).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Presidential candidate Miriam Defensor-Santiago was the guest speaker at Bulacan State University's commencement exercises on Monday (April 18).

Appearing stronger like her last visit to Baguio City, Santiago dished out some advice for the new graduates. The senator, who was accompanied by her running mate Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., told them to believe in themselves and in their dreams.

"Nothing matters more to the future of this nation than to ensure that our young women and men learn to believe in themselves and in their dreams," said Santiago.

She also reminded them that becoming successful takes time and not to equate success with fame and money.

"Being successful means being a person of value to others. Matagumpay ka kung may kahulugan ka para sa mga kakilala mo. It means reaching those goals you have set for yourself. It also means sustaining excellence in the things you do," she said.

Santiago warned them of the inequality they will face once they step out into the real world, which she claims leads more Filipinos to working abroad because of the plentiful opportunities presented.

She reminded them that competing in the global workforce requires skills such as constantly adapting to technology, and embracing diversity.

"Practicing integrity. Madami sa mga magnanakaw ngayon mga graduates yan o top 10% sa class nila, pero pag-graduate nila, ginamit nila ang dunong nila para sa pagnakaw ng limpak limpak na pera. Dahil akala nila magtagumpay sila pagganyan," she said.

The senator emphasized the need of a cultural revolution against the country's culture of corruption. She pushed them to use social media to voice their anger and frustration against politicians who are driven by greed.

"You have a duty to challenge the status quo. Palagi mo i-challenge. Hindi lang tanggap ng tanggap, and create a better country for our people. Use your right to vote to change our country," said Santiago. "You have immense influence over your family, friends and neighbors and tell them to make an intelligent choice."

She also said not to allow the rich and powerful to be given special privileges.

"You have every right to be furious of all these corrupt politicians. Because after all it is our money that is being used to sustain their expensive lifestyles. Pera natin yung ginagamit nila para magkaroon sila ng napakaraming bahay, kotse, kerida."