Feisty Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has passed away this Thursday morning. She was 71.
After nearly three years of battling lung cancer, the former senator was reported to have passed away.
Senator Grace Poe confirmed this in a Senate hearing on the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill wherein she paused for a minute to pray for the feisty senator from Iloilo.
“May we pray for Sen. Santiago. She passed away a few minutes ago,” Poe said.
Poe also took time to recall when she was expecting Santiago to interpellate her when she was still a neophyte senator about to deliver a privilege speech on the FOI bill.
“When I was given the opportunity what she said was before interpellating she said, ‘Sen. Poe I feel very maternal towards you’ and instead of interpellating me, she lectured me on the importance of having a FOI,” Poe said.
Poe noted that Santiago had stressed that the Presidential Communications privilege should not be abused by the seating President that to which she thought was a valid point.
She meanwhile expressed hope that the measure be passed into a law in memory of the late senator.
Samtago was born in Iloilo City on 15 June 1945.
She served in all three branches of the Philippine government in judicial, executive, and legislative.
Some of her alma maters include University of the Philippines, University of Michigan, Oxford University, Maryhill School of Theology, University of California, Harvard University, and Cambridge University.
Santiago was named one of The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 1997 by The Australian magazine.
In 1988, she was named laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service, with a citation “for bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.”
She ran in the 1992 presidential elections but was defeated in an election marred by allegations of impropriety by the winner.
As senator she exposed and lambasted numerous government scandals, such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam, which led to massive outrage and triggered major reforms throughout the country.
She was an icon of incorruptibility, honest government service, and constitutional law. She was given numerous awards and recognition for her fight against corruption in the country.
In 2012, she became the first Filipina and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected a judge of the International Criminal Court.
In 2016, she became part of the International Advisory Council of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), an intergovernmental body that promotes the rule of law. (With PNA report / Wikipedia)