Duterte to confer highest civil service award on Miriam Defensor Santiago

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MANILA – The late senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is set to be bestowed by President Rodrigo Duterte with the Quezon Service Cross next Monday, the Malacañang said.

The departed Ilongga senator will become the sixth recipient of the citation after she was nominated by President Duterte before the Congress last year.

“Santiago inspired generations of Filipinos to aspire for excellence and remain steadfast against any challenge and adversity,” Duterte said. “She used her considerable talents for the service of the people and our nation while exhibiting remarkable passion, courage, and integrity.”

Santiago served as a presiding judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, commissioner of Bureau of Immigration, and secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform before entering the politics.

Santiago then served as a senator from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2016. She also ran for the presidency twice, but lost both times. In the 2016 national Presidential polls, the Ilongga finished at fifth place.

Santiago became the first Filipino to be elected as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague, Netherlands in 2011. She stepped down from the post in 2014 due to chronic fatigue syndrome.

Santiago, who passed away on Sept. 30, 2016 due to lung cancer, was also a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 1988 when she was still with the Immigration bureau.

The Quezon Service Cross was created by then President Manuel Roxas on Aug. 2, 1946. It is the highest award that the Republic of the Philippines can bestow to any Filipino.

Since its creation, there have been five recipients of the award in former President Emilio Aguinaldo, diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, the late President Ramon Magsaysay, former Senator Ninoy Aquino, and the late Interior secretary Jesse Robredo./PN

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