Politics

Miriam Defensor Santiago: A Titan Among Men

Miriam Defensor Santiago: A Titan Among Men

Tears just won’t stop from falling as I write this piece.

Today, September 29, 2016, the Philippines just lost the only True Constitutionalist in the Senate and the only Standard of Excellence in Public Office.

I feel sad not only for her family but for Filipinos and future generations of Filipinos who will never know her brilliance, eloquence, sharp wit and above all, her deep love for her country, the people and the Constitution.

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She had very impressive credentials as a student and as a lawyer, otherwise, the U.N. wouldn’t have hired her as a Consultant. She had a very lucrative career there but was influenced by her father that her country needs her. Thus, she resigned and went back to the Philippines to serve the country and its people.

She had the unique distinction of serving all 3 Branches of Government, first as an RTC Judge who had balls to defy Marcos during the Martial Law era by setting free U.P. student activists and allowed them to take their exams on time. As a Judge, she worked fast and finished 5 cases a day as she firmly believed that: JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.

Right after the EDSA Revolution, she was appointed by Cory Aquino as Director of the Bureau of Immigration. It was at the corrupt Bureau of Immigration that she implemented reforms which shook the Bureau. Hundreds of undesirable aliens were deported, some were charged and sent to jail. Because of the Shakedown that she did at the Bureau, smugglers with connections to the powers-that-be threatened her with DEATH, to which she simply retorted:

“I EAT DEATH THREATS FOR BREAKFAST”

She was then assigned at the Department of Agriculture as Secretary of that department. Those who worked with her and under her attested that she was a workaholic who was already at her office at 7 a.m. and would leave way past 5 p.m. She had no tolerance for incompetence and mediocrity. MDS was the one who “Touched” Cory’s beloved Hacienda Luisita to distributed to the tenant-farmers. For doing this, she was unceremoniously sacked by the vindictive Cory Aquino.

MDS received numerous awards here and internationally for her work and service to the country. She almost died in 1991, before running for the Presidency in 1992 when her car was rammed by an Army Truck which allegedly “Malfunctioned” and the driver lost control. To this day, many people still believe that MDS was cheated in the 1992 Presidential Election and became the first victim of “Dagdag Bawas”. She filed an Electoral Protest but didn’t have the 10 billion which the COMELEC asked for, which was the cost to have the Recount. How could she have such huge amount when she doesn’t have Political Benefactors or a traditional political machinery? All she had was her own political party, the People’s Reform Party, composed of students and volunteers who believed that “Change” was possible through adherence to the ideals of the Constitution, Rules of Law and Due Process.

When she ran and won as Senator, she was the most productive and prolific, having authored and passed the most number of bills which benefitted the people. She was a very staunch defender of the Constitution and used her voice to defend it from those who would usurp or pervert it. She was the Epitome of Constitutional Patriotism and we may probably never see another one like her in the near future. MDS taught the importance of the Constitution and the use of Critical Thinking Faculties to the people. With her demise, we may not see the likes of the “Sincerity Bills” and “Magna Carta for BPO Employees” and her other pending bills which will be of great benefit to the people. We can only wish that somehow, somewhere, someone will take up her place and advocate MERITOCRACY in Governance which MDS epitomized.

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The country just lost “The Best President” we never had and it is a day of mourning for all Filipinos, and we can only hope & pray that someday, just like the Phoenix, someone in the mold of MDS will rise to lead the country where JUSTICE, EQUALITY, EQUITY & HUMAN DIGNITY are the new norms.

Thank you MDS for selflessly serving the country. You have fought the Good Fight, you have kept the Faith and you have finished the Race. You can now claim your Crown of Glory.

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