Biography: Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago - PH Trending

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Wednesday 22 July 2015

Biography: Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago - the incorruptible lady, the platinum lady, the tiger lady, the dragon lady, the iron lady of Asia, the queen of popularity polls, and the undisputed campus hero. And media likes to call “Miriam Magic.”

Global Fame. She is globally famous personality, because of her legal brilliance and courageous example in fighting corruption. She has the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science, in the United States.The first Filipino and the first Asian from a developing country, to be elected in the United Nations as judge of the International Criminal Court. The ICC hears cases against heads of state and unfortunately illness forced her to waive privilege of being an ICC judge.

 June 2014 she was diagnosed with lung cancer, stage 4 (the last stage). But with her signature humor and bravery, she fought back, and her cancer has regressed. Even cancer cells are afraid of her!

  Laureate of the Magsaysay Award for Government Service, known as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. She was cited “for bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.” She was named one of “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World” by The Australian magazine.

Academic Excellence.  Local Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude; and Bachelor of Laws, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines.  Foreign Degrees: graduate degrees of Master of Laws, and Doctor of Juridical Science, from the University of Michigan, one of the top three law schools in the United States. She finished the academic requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Religious Studies, at the Maryhill School of Theology. At U.P she finished her 4-year course in only 3-1/2 years. At the University of Michigan, she was a Barbour Scholar and DeWitt Fellow. She finished her master’s degree in only one year, and her doctorate in only six months.   Postdoctoral studies: Oxford University, Cambridge University, Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University, and Academy of Public International Law at the Peace Palace (the seat of the International Court of Justice), at The Hague, Netherlands. Record Breaking: first female editor-in-chief of the famous student newspaper, Philippine Collegian, thus shattering a 50-year old record of male dominance.  She is valedictorian in all levels.

 Professional Excellence.  Judicial excellence - presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court at Quezon City. Executive excellence - immigration commissioner; and a cabinet member, as agrarian reform secretary. Legislative branch, a three term senator.  

She work abroad as legal officer of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. She also served as a consultant of the Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C. 

Outstanding Awards - The Outstanding Young Men, or TOYM; The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service, or TOWNS; and Most Outstanding Alumna in Law from U.P.  Dr. Santiago was a U.P. law professor for some 10 years, teaching evening class after office hours.

 She has written some 30 books, many of which are very scholarly textbooks in law and the social sciences, well advanced of our time.  She is considered the leading expert of her generation in constitutional law and in international law. In Philippine senate on her third term, she has filed the highest number of bills, and authored some of the most important laws. Most important pending bills are: anti-dynasty bill; an act institutionalizing an age-appropriate curriculum to prevent the abduction, exploitation, and sexual abuse of children; anti-epal bill; freedom of information bill; and magna carta for Philippine internet freedom. She has been fearless in exposing and naming notorious criminal suspects in legislative investigations, particularly in naming jueteng lords and illegal logging lords.

Never marred by any kickback - COA.  Historical Scandal -A national plunder investigation -  December 2012 she revealed that the senate president had used Senate funds to give away cash gifts. Every senator received P2 million as a Christmas gift, taken from public funds, except Senator Santiago and two others. That scandal led to the notorious pork barrel scandal, for which the senate president is now suspended and in jail, having been charged with plunder by the Ombudsman.Sen. Santiago gave her PDAF to the University of the Philippines system; Philippine General Hospital; and local government units and never released pork barrel to any NGO.   Revelation on the impeachment of the Chief Justice in 2012 - Miriam was one of only three senators who refused to receive the DAP, amounting to ₱50 million for every senator and ₱10 million for every congressman. It was also later revealed that three senators even received ₱100 million each, after the impeachment.

During the 1992 Presidential Election,  Filipinos say: “Miriam won in the voting, but lost in the counting.” Fidel V. Ramos won the presidential election (1992 -1998)

15 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Miriam Defensor-Santiago

1.      She was a swimming champion.
2.      She loves going around in bathing suit.
3.      She finished B.A. Political Science in UP Visayas in only three and a half years.
4.      She was a “super girl” at U.P. Diliman.
5.      In University of Michigan, Miriam earned the Master of Laws degree after only one year, and the Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence degree after six months.
6.      She almost died in a car crash.
7.      She is a “knowledge vulture”.
8.      She wanted to be a nun.
9.      She never had crushes on boys.
10.  She never used makeup because she had “flawless skin.”
11.  She always wanted to be a writer, but ended up a lawyer because “they have a lot of relatives who are criminals.”
12.  She used to play basketball with her husband when she was younger.
13.  She almost flunked the 1969 Bar Exams.
14.  Her son’s death completely changed how she sees God.
15.  She considers herself as Margaret Thatcher’s protege.


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