SENATOR Panfilo Lacson who had clashed with his former colleague Miriam Defensor Santiago when they were together in the Senate reacted to her passing by saying the feisty lawmaker would definitely be sorely missed.
Lacson said that he is saddened by her demise.
In the 16th Congress, Santiago called Lacson the attack dog of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile whom she had accused of financing a “psy war” against her. She also questioned Enrile’s policy in distributing office funds to the senators when the latter was still Senate president.
“We may not have been the best of friends but we were colleagues for at least two terms. It was shocking although we already knew she was suffering from cancer. But it came too sudden na rin. I mourn the passing of Sen. Miriam,” said Lacson in a chance interview.
Asked how he remembers Santiago, Lacson said: ”The sessions were always lively. Iyung passion, and then of course, all the antics. We can always remember that. She will be missed, definitely.”
“In fact, even after the 16th Congress, during the 17th Congress and she’s not here anymore, nami-miss na rin. Lalo ngayon, there’s no chance anymore for her to come back as a senator or as an official of the government. She will be sorely missed, that’s one thing definite. And I’m sure you have the same sentiment,” he said.
Enrile, who remembers his bitter word war with Santiago, said he will pray for her, adding that historians will determine the extent of her contribution to the country.
Enrile said that he also got sad when he learned about her passing. Enrile and Santiago both “graduated” from the Senate last June 30 after they had completed their second six-year term as member of the upper chamber.
“S’yempre. Kung may mamamatay na kilala mo malulungkot ka rin di ba? Hindi ako nagtatanim ng masamang kalooban maski kanino. Pinagdarasal ko ‘yung mga naging katunggali ko sa buhay. I will say silent prayers for her,” said Enrile.
Asked what the important contributions of Santiago were to Philippine society, Enrile said:”She’s very articulate person, receptive so I do not know how much contributions she has given to the country. Let the historians write about that. Mahirap i-assess ang tao during your lifetime. Let the objectivity of historians assess that.”