“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.”
Miriam Defensor Santiago, Impeachment Trial 2013 (for CJ Renato Corona)
Today, millions of Filipinos grieve over the death of one of the most influential women in the Philippines, highly respected for her dauntless stance against corruption and injustice in the country.
Miriam Defensor Santiago, the Iron Lady of Asia, suffered from a Stage 4 Lung Cancer earlier in 2014. After two years of a courageous fight against the disease, she died peacefully in her sleep just this morning, September 29, 2016.
In honor of her life and achievements, we have compiled fifteen interesting things that you should know about our beloved senator.
- Miriam Santiago was able to serve all the three branches of the PH government, the judicial, executive and the legislative.
- Santiago was honored as one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in the year 1997 by an Australian magazine.
- When Miriam lost the 1992 elections, the media and the masses made the quote, “Miriam won the elections, but lost in the counting”, popular in protest to the alleged cheating committed by her rival.
- It was 1995 when she became a senator of the Philippines and she is considered the law maker who authored the most number of laws and bills in the entire country’s history.
- Santiago was the first Filipina and in fact, the first Asian to be elected as a judge of the International Criminal Court.
- Santiago served three full terms in the Philippine Senate.
- After losing the 2016 presidential elections, her supporters promoted the phrase, “the best president we never had”, as a form of gratitude and in honor of her love and dedication to serve the people of the Philippines in her entire political career.
- She was dubbed as the Iron Lady of Asia because of her bold stance in controversial issues and her fearless stand against corrupt government officials.
- She was also known as The Dragon Lady, The Platinum Lady, and the Incorruptible Lady – all compliments and titles of admiration and respect from her supporters in and outside of the country.
- Santiago was a prodigy, graduating as valedictorian in grade school, high school and undergraduate school.
- She also completed her Bachelor of Arts as well as Bachelor of Laws degrees as a cum laude.
- For just one and a half years, she earned her Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees when she went on a fellowship to the U.S.
- She was the first judge to issue a court decision to rule against one of cases that represented the many injustices of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law.
- Santiago admitted that two female historical figures greatly influenced her political ideologies: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the physicist Marie Curie.
- “Stupid is Forever”, one of her many published books, was named the best-selling book of 2014 with a total estimated sales of 110,000 copies in just one month.