Press Release
December 5, 2017


Senator Sonny Angara welcomed the President's nomination of the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for conferment of the Quezon Service Cross, the highest civilian award in the Philippines. "We are glad to receive here in the Senate the formal nomination of President Duterte to bestow our beloved Senator Miriam the Quezon Service Cross. We are also thankful that the President acted favourably on the request of Sen. Grace and this representation for her nomination. The late Senator Miriam deserves no less than the President's official endorsement for the nation's recognition of her exemplary contribution as a public servant," Angara said.

It can be recalled that Angara filed the resolution seeking to bestow the Quezon Service Cross on the late senator last September 26, two days before Santiago's first death anniversary. The resolution highlighted the laws Santiago authored, and her achievements as Presiding Judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Immigration Commissioner, and Agrarian Reform Secretary.

In a recent letter to Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, President Duterte requested Congress to approve the posthumous conferment of the award to the late Senator Santiago, stating "she used her considerable talents for the service of the people and our nation while exhibiting remarkable passion, courage and integrity. She inspired generations of Filipinos to aspire for excellence and remain steadfast against any challenge and adversity."

The president also stressed that the late legislator was "an agent of positive and meaningful change in the country" for having "authored and sponsored laws that strengthened our fiscal position, promoted reproductive health, preserved the environment, safeguarded our women, enshrined human rights, enhanced our education system, gave greater access to information communications technology, protected against cybercrime, and asserted Philippine sovereignty."

Created in 1946, the Quezon Service Cross is awarded to a person "for exemplary service to the nation in memory of the late President Manuel L. Quezon."

Both houses of Congress must approve the nomination of the late Senator Santiago for the award, which has only been given to five people since its creation. The past recipients of the awards are former Interior Sec. Jesse Robredo (November 2012), former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. (August 2004), former President Ramon Magsaysay (July 1957), former President Emilio Aguinaldo (June 1956) and former President Carlos Romulo (April 1951).

In his resolution, Angara said Santiago "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."

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