After she had lost in the May 9 elections, in her third attempt to win the highest post, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has once again lost yet another fight.
She peacefully passed away in her sleep this morning after two years of battling with her stage 4 lung cancer.
Known for her feistiness, which is loved and endeared the most by the young ones, the Iron Lady of Asia is more than her strong personality and her fiery language.
She served in all three branches of the government and has been a public servant for almost 50 years. A decent, honest, and disciplined public servant to be exact.
She became assistant to the Secretary of Justice for 10 years and later became a legal officer to the UN due to her unquestionable knowledge and experience of both constitutional and international law.
Appointed by Ferdinand Marcos, as the judge of RTC of Quezon City, she proclaimed “no postponement” on trials. She later decided to rule against Martial Law.
After Martial Law, she became the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation, one of the most corrupt agency in the entire Southeast Asia that time. She directed raids of syndicates, and later received an award for “bold and moral leadership cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.” She was then promoted as Secretary of Agrarian Reform.
Senator Santiago became senator in 1995, and served for three terms all in all. She have exposed numerous government scandals and made history holding the record of most number of bill and laws authored.
Few of the laws she authored were Reproductive Health Act of 2012, Sin Tax Law, Climate Change Act of 2009, Renewable Energy Act, Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Magna Carta for Women, Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education Act, Cybercrime Act of 2012, Department of Information and Communication Technology Act, and Archipelagic Baselines Act of 2009.
She became the first Asian to be elected as a judge of International Criminal Court in 2012. She later resigned, and became part of the International Development Law Organization just recently.
Even after retirement, she continued serving the country and passed several more important bills.
If it was not of her illness, she could have done more. Her lost in her own battle is this country’s lost. Truly she will always be the greatest president the Philippines never had.
Thank you, Senator Miriam for serving the country! Your legacy will live forever for a woman like you will never be forgotten.