Iron Lady of Asia: Miriam Defensor-Santiago (1945-2016)

mirbanManila – Philippine social media came abuzz with the passing of former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who succumbed to lung cancer at age 71. She was declared dead on 8:52am, September 29, 2016, Philippine Standard Time while being confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center at Taguig City.

According to her husband of 46 years, Atty. Narciso “Jun” Santiago, the lady senator died in her sleep.

Since she started her formal career in government service in the heat of the Martial Law regime, the feisty senator was known for her anti-corruption platform, her charisma, and her sarcastic wit. She ran for the presidency thrice and lost to Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Rodrigo Duterte.

The lady senator was involved in many headlining news in the Philippines. Among many, it included her brave decision to oppose the incarceration of anti-Martial Law activists, her unpopular decision to vote in favor of not opening the controversial envelope during the Estrada impeachment trial, her unpopular decision to vote against the impeachment of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona, her youngest son, Alexander’s suicide, and her announcement that she has Stage 4 Lung Cancer.

Senator Santiago is one of the most prolific members of the Philippine congress. She has authored and sponsored the controversial Reproductive Health Act; Biofuels Law; Renewable Energy Law; Sin Tax Law; Magna Carta of Women; Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act; Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity; Anti-Cybercrime Law; Seatbelt Law; Exact Change Act; Philippine Standard Time Act; Motorcycle Helmet Act; Kasambahay Law; Anti-Bullying Law; Archipelagic Baselines Law; and Climate Change Act, among others.


Santiago’s wake will be held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral at Lantana, Cubao, Quezon City.

The Editorial Board of The Global Filipino extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Miriam Defensor-Santiago – a global Filipino.

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