Barely three months cleared of lung cancer, Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago announced her desire to run for president.
Santiago declared her bid Oct. 13 during the book launch for her very own "Stupid is Forevermore," a sequel to her first book "Stupid is Forever." Despite her legal brilliance, the senator still found time to write about the lighter things in life as Her books are collections of jokes about love and life.
The 70-year-old senator has substantially contributed to all three branches of the Philippine Government. She is a three-term senator (legislative), a former multi-award-winning regional trial court judge (judicial) and a former immigration commissioner and Agrarian Reform secretary (executive).
Santiago won a seat in the highly powerful International Criminal Court, and is the first woman from an Asian developing state to join as a judge in the Netherlands-based international court. Despite being hailed ICC judge, the senator refused to vacate her seat in the Philippine Senate. She will only resign if ICC asks her to do so. Santiago candidly said that her political enemies have been wanting to ship her to the Netherlands. "I'm afraid I'm just one of those ghosts that keep appearing in Philippine history," said the feisty lawmaker, according to GMA News Coverage.
As a public servant, Santiago is respected for her unquestioned honesty.
"In December 2012, she revealed that the senate president had used senate funds to give away cash gifts. Every senator received P2 million as a Christmas gift, taken from public funds, except Senator Santiago and two others. That scandal led to the notorious pork barrel scandal, for which the senate president is now suspended and in jail, having been charged with plunder by the Ombudsman," according to her bio on the Philippine senate website.
Santiago gains a large following every time she grills a high-profile criminal of the country, the latest of which includes Janet Lim-Napoles, the businesswoman at the center of the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
An eloquent debater since college, Santiago asks the toughest questions, fires the sharpest words and masters every word of the constitution.
While confronting the accused, the senator will not hesitate to turn her head on anyone making noise and improper reactions during a serous hearing.
During her earlier terms in the senate, the legislator filed 549 bills and 211 resolutions from 1995 to 2000. Topics covered were Human Rights, Governance, Youth and Women, Health and Safety and Education.
As a lawyer, Santiago wrote 23 books, including the unprecedented and monumental Code Annotated Series and Basic Textbook Series.
Santiago authored or sponsored the following bills passed into law: Access Devices Regulation Act, Agricultural Modernization Act, Automated Election System Act, Domestic Adoption Act, Downstream Oil Deregulation Act, Indigenous Peoples' Act of 1996, Anti-Rape Law of 1997, Seatbelt Law, Intellectual Property Code, Banning right-hand steering, Assistance for rape victims, Regulating the practice of Mechanical Engineering, Act for general re-registration of voters, and Act on ARMM elections.
As a student, Santiago excelled in almost all areas, she was a swimming champion, a spelling bee champ and an editor-in-chief, reported Filipinow.
Santiago initially wanted to be a nun, but her father, who was also a lawyer, talked her into following in his footsteps to champion their relatives whenever they face charges.
Santiago was a protégé of the original Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.