By Azer N. Parrocha
MANILA, Oct. 2 (PNA) — Former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who died on Sept. 29, was laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City on Sunday.
According to Santiago’s verified Twitter account, which is managed by her relatives, a funeral mass took place at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Lantana St., Cubao, Quezon City before her remains were brought to Marikina.
A mass was held Saturday night in the same cathedral with the Hail Mary the Queen Children’s Choir. A necrological service was held afterwards, followed by public viewing until midnight.
The feisty senator from Iloilo died at the age of 71 after battling lung cancer for almost three years. She was first diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in June 2014.
She had worked for all three branches of government – Judicial, Executive, and Legislative.
In the Judicial branch, she had been presiding judge of a Regional Trial Court in Quezon City.
In the Executive branch, she had been Bureau of Immigration and Deportation commissioner and a Cabinet member as Department of Agrarian Reform secretary.
In the Legislative branch, she had been a senator for three terms of six years each.
As senator, she filed the highest number of bills and authored some of the most important laws passed by Congress.
Aside from being known for public service, she is the 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 (ICC).
She was also chosen as laureate of the Magsaysay Award for Government Service and one of “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World” by The Australian magazine.
The late senator, known for her jokes, was also a book author and constant guest speaker in universities, making her very popular among students.
She ran for president thrice — in 1992, 1998 and last May 9 — but lost.