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House leaders pay tribute to Santiago

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 256

THE House of Representatives led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez joined the whole nation in mourning the death of former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Lawmakers said the country has lost a pillar in politics as well as a great defender of the Constitution.

Alvarez said the Congress and the people will miss not only her trademark colorful language that stung foes and chastised incompetent officials, but also her cutting intelligence and wit that endeared her to a horde of youthful followers?

“With her passing we lost one of the country's most vocal and feisty defenders of our nation’s sovereignty and national interest, as well as one of the most feared campaigners against corruption in government,” Alvarez said.

“We will forever be grateful to Sen. Santiago for dedicating her life to the service of our nation,” he added.

Former President now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo described Santiago as a “dear and true friend and a loyal ally.”
   
“Senator Miriam’s life is the epitome of courage, brilliance, eloquence, dedication to public service and commitment to good governance. The Philippines has lost a truly outstanding and irreplaceable leader,” Arroyo said.
   
Another Deputy Speaker, Raneo Abu, also extended his sympathies to the family of Santiago.
   
“We join the nation in mourning for the loss of a remarkable parliamentarian, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Her wit and humor will be truly missed,” Abu said.
   
In mourning the passing of a giant cultural icon, Deputy Speaker representing the Liberal Party (LP) Romero Quimbo said if the typhoons have Yolanda, politics has Miriam.
   
“She will be remembered not only for being an unparalleled legislator but for her meteoric personality, her acerbic wit and deep intolerance for the stupid,” Quimbo said.
   
“Unlike many of her contemporaries, she managed to capture the idolatry of people from all ages especially the young. Her appeal was age and gender proof,” he added.
   
Former Speaker and Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte said Philippine politics will not be the same without the staunch and feisty Miriam.
   
According to Belmonte, he maintained a cordial relationship with the former senator through the years being a godfather to her son who passed away years back.
   
We will miss her intelligence, wit and vast legal expertise which she has shared as university professor and earned for the country the distinction of being the first Asian elected judge to the International Criminal Court,” Belmonte said.
   
On the part of the Minority, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat both expressed sadness over the passing of the senator.
   
“Her passing is the end of an era. She was the most unforgettable of her generation. Love her or hate her, agree with her or not, her thoughts and her style of expression demanded respect,” Baguilat said.