“I eat death threats for breakfast!” - when asked about the threats she’s been receiving.
"We're all for honest government and yet the world condemns us as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. That's why it's hard to win in international elections or campaigns because the Philippines has the reputation of being a corrupt country.
Iniisip ng iba, kung corrupt ang bayan, walang lalabas na matino diyan, walang ibubuga yan. Bawa't isa ba sa inyo, walang sala tungkol sa SALN? Bigyan niyo ako ng isa pang buhay, Panginoon bigyan mo pa ako ng isa pang buhay para imbestigahan lahat yan. Dito sa Senate or sa House of Representatives!" – The statement she said during the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2013 *
|Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago- the Iron lady of Asia (photo credit to philstar)|
A year after her death, there are moves to confer the country’s highest civilian service award on the late Senator Miriam Defensor- Santiago. And Malacañan is very much welcome to the idea.
“The Office of the President welcomes moves to confer the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago the Quezon Service Cross. The late senator's contribution to the country is beyond question,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press conference.
“The President highly respects the lady. We look forward to receiving the resolution of the Senate,” Abella added.
Two senators – Senators Sonny Angara and Grace Poe have separately filed Senate resolutions seeking to posthumously bestow the Quezon Service Cross on Santiago.
“Bestowing upon Santiago the Quezon Service Cross will ensure that her legacy of dedicated, outstanding and selfless public service will endure for Filipinos to emulate,” said Senator Grace Poe.
For the award to be given, both Houses of Congress must approve the nomination of Senator Santiago for the award, the award which has only been given to five (5) Filipinos since its creation.
The past recipients of the awards are former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo (November 2012), former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. (August 2004), former President Ramon Magsaysay (July 1957), former President Emilio Aguinaldo (June 1956) and former President Carlos Romulo (April 1951). *
Created in 1946, the Quezon Service Cross is awarded to a person "for exemplary service to the nation in memory of the late President Manuel L. Quezon."
In her 46 years of service in the government, Santiago worked as presiding judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Immigration commissioner, Agrarian Reform secretary and senator for three terms.
In 1988, she received the Ramon Magsaysay Award, dubbed as Asia's version of the Nobel Prize, for her exemplary government service.
She was the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to be elected judge of The Hague-based International Criminal Court. In 2016, she became a member of the International Advisory Council of the International Development Law Organization.
During her term as chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, Santiago sponsored the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, United Nations Convention Against Corruption, International Labor Organization Convention on Migration for Employment, Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, Revised Kyoto Convention, Association of Southeast Asian Nations Charter, ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, and ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.
Santiago passed away on Sept. 29, 2016. She was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in 2014.
To mark her first death anniversary, a special program organized by her supporters will be held at the Loyala Memorial park in Marikina City on September 29, 2017. *
Report from philstar