SEN. Miriam Defensor-Santiago remains the Senate’s top performer in terms of filed bills and resolutions, despite being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last year.
A document from the Senate bills and resolutions index service revealed that Santiago has filed a total of 1,324 bills and resolutions, or a fifth of the total number of bills and resolutions filed by all senators, as the Senate adjourned sine die on June 11.
She was followed by Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada with 642 bills and resolutions and Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th with 344. Reckoning bills and resolutions separately, Santiago still topped all her colleagues with 671 bills and 629 resolutions.
“Only my body is sick, not my brain. I am not yet physically fit to attend plenary sessions. However, I have managed to discharge my duties as chair of certain Senate committees and I continue to file bills and resolutions on a weekly basis,” Santiago said.
She is set to end her Senate stint as the consistent top performer during her three terms.
Santiago was senator from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2010. She was reelected in 2010 and is limited by law to run for another term in 2016.
In the 16th Congress, she co-authored several bills approved into law, including the Open Learning and Distance Education Act; the Youth Entrepreneurship Act; the Student-Athletes Protection Act; the Open High School System Act; and the Fair Competition Act.
Of the bills she solely authored, Santiago identified priority bills languishing at the committee level. These include the Anti-Epal Bill, the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill, the Magna Carta for Call Center Workers and the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom.
“I am disappointed that some committees are sitting on many of my bills, even when there is wide public support for my proposals. These bills will not even be debated on. I suspect that powers-that-be fear how these bills will impact our political system,” the senator said.
Aside from filing bills and leading concurrence to treaties, Santiago has filed numerous resolutions used as basis for public hearings on necessary repairs in Metro Manila train systems, controversial construction projects and Chinese activities in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
She remains on medical leave because of lung cancer, stage four, which was initially diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Despite her condition, the senator remains widely popular on social media, with many touting the relevance of measures she has filed.
Her name is also still being floated as one of the leading possible candidates for the presidential elections in 2016.