While they were rivals in the political arena, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte and the late Miriam Defensor Santiago were not enemies. In fact, while Duterte repeatedly berated the other presidential candidates, he had always been kind and respectful when it came to Miriam. Netizens even turned them into a ‘love team’ during the presidential elections.
But Miriam died on September 29, 2016 after a long bout with cancer.
She died as a respected senator who had authored several important laws, including the Magna Carta for Women, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the Anti-Bullying Act, and many others.
Miriam also held the honor of being the first Filipino to ever been elected as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC), an institution based in The Hague, Netherlands. Aside from that, Miriam was awarded the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, something likened to the Nobel Prize, Asian version.
Recently, it was confirmed by Malacañang that President Duterte has endorsed Miriam as candidate for the Quezon Service Cross, the highest special award someone working in government service could ever receive. In fact, the award has only been given to five people: Emilio Aguinaldo, Carlos P. Romulo, Ramon Magsaysay, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., and Jesse Robredo.
According to ABS-CBN News, Senators Sonny Angara and Grace Poe were the ones who ‘urged’ the president to nominate Miriam for the award. They would probably done that themselves if they could but a person can only by nominated to the extra-special Quezon Service Cross by the president.
While he can nominate someone for the award, the president could not approve the nomination or pick the winner. Instead, the nomination is submitted to Congress and it is up to the representatives to approve the candidate.
With Miriam’s long track record in government service, not just as senator but in all the branches of government (judicial, legislative, and executive), there is a high likelihood that the Congress will easily approve her nomination for the Quezon Service Cross.
Featured image credit: Inquirer