Miriam Defensor-Santiago. (file photo)
are in many ways saddened by the passing away of former Senator Miriam
Defensor-Santiago. She was the most prolific Philippine senator by far.
She has authored over 437, 435 bills and filed 181 resolutions since
becoming senator in 1995. Santiago has also one of the largest social
media following of any Philippine politician. She showed promise early
on when she won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award in 1988 "for bold
and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency."
In 2012 she became the first Filipino to be elected a judge in the
International Criminal Court headquartered in the Hague.
Santiago could have
become a beloved hero of the Filipino people had she not had such an
acerbic personality. On the senate floor, Santiago’s speeches were
usually browbeatings, talking down to her audience, instead of an
exchange of ideas between equals. Such acts were so common, that it
seemed as though Santiago relished the notoriety she would receive. Her
hubris and lecturing manner towards witnesses as well as fellow
senator-judges during the televised impeachment hearings of the late
Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2011 brought her antics to a global
audience via the worldwide web.
Santiago, like many Filipinos, she appeared to have an inflated ego
which she used to mask an insecurity complex.
during one of her many speeches. (file photo)
If Miriam Defensor-Santiago
had a more normal personality, there can be no doubt that she would have
been a truly great Filipina who would have been loved and cherished by
Filipinos for all time. But because of her character flaws she may sadly
end up as just another footnote in Philippine history: a highly prolific
Senator who tried to do her best for the country but her caustic
character oftentimes got in the way.