Press Release
September 27, 2017


To mark Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's first death anniversary, a Senate resolution has been introduced to posthumously bestow upon her the Republic's highest civilian service award, the Quezon Service Cross, for her 50 years of selfless service to the nation.

Sponsored by Sen. Sonny Angara, Senate Resolution 517 not only enumerated the late feisty senator's service in the three branches of government but also her work as a law professor, a constitutional expert, and "as a fictionist who wrote short stories."

The resolution, which will be consolidated with the one filed by Sen. Grace Poe, is expected to be passed unanimously by senators, almost all of whom had served with Defensor-Santiago in her 18 years in the Upper House.

"As senator, Senator Miriam had bipartisan respect and support, and this resolution in her honor will be passed in the same manner," he said.

"If she were alive today and a sitting senator, I am sure that she will cast the lone dissenting vote, and will berate me for trying to flatter her," Angara said in jest, while adding:

"But seriously, she deserves the Quezon Service Cross. Because rare is the Filipino who had served in the judiciary, the Cabinet and the legislature, and the rarest is the one who served in all with brilliance and distinction. She was a class of her own."

In his resolution, Angara said the late senator "exceeded the qualifications" set for a Quezon Service Cross recipient, of having served "in such a manner and such a degree as to add great prestige to the Republic, or as to contribute to the lasting benefit of its people.

"Throughout the nearly five decades she served the public, Miriam Defensor Santiago exemplified academic, professional, and moral excellence--values that she herself demanded not just from fellow public servants, but also fellow Filipinos," the lawmaker's resolution read.

"Santiago is among the country's legal luminaries, recognized particularly as a highly esteemed expert in constitutional and international law who has earned the Philippines honor, respect and confidence from the international community," the resolution added.

The resolution paid tribute to Santiago's crusade "against a rampant culture of corruption and impunity," and recalled how she "demonstrated ironclad commitment to upholding the rule of law, and sought incessantly to elevate the professional and moral standards of public service."

"Santiago, aside from being a crusader for rule of law and justice, was also a staunch advocate for making education, health, and job opportunities readily accessible to all Filipinos," the resolution pointed out.

Angara's resolution highlighted Santiago's achievements as Presiding Judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Immigration Commissioner, and Agrarian Reform Secretary.

It cited a few of the laws she wrote and shepherded to passage among which are the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act; An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products; the; the Children's Emergency Relief and Protection Act; the Fair Election Act; the Oil Pollution Compensation Act; and the Magna Carta of Women.

It also hailed her election in 2013 as Judge of the International Criminal Court, making her the first Filipina and the first Asian from a developing country to hold such a seat.

"Senator Miriam's relevance will never wane. This senator for all seasons will be remembered as a giant statesperson for all ages," Angara exclaimed.

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