THE late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago deserves President Rodrigo Duterte’s official endorsement for conferment of the Quezon Service Cross, the highest civilian award in the Philippines, in recognition of her “exemplary” contributions as a public servant, according to Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara.
Santiago was 71 years old when she died on September 29, 2016 from stage 4 lung cancer.
Angara and Sen. Grace Poe have filed Resolution 508 and Resolution 517, respectively, recognizing Santiago’s “selfless service to the nation.”
In a recent letter to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Duterte requested Congress to approve the posthumous conferment of the award on Santiago.
The President said Santiago “used her considerable talents for the service of the people and our nation while exhibiting remarkable passion, courage and integrity.”
He added that the late senator “inspired generations of Filipinos to aspire for excellence and remain steadfast against any challenge and adversity.”
The President called Santiago “an agent of positive and meaningful change in the country” for having “authored and sponsored laws that strengthened our fiscal position, promoted reproductive health, preserved the environment, safeguarded our women, enshrined human rights, enhanced our education system, gave greater access to information communications technology, protected against cybercrime and asserted Philippine sovereignty.”
“We are glad to receive here in the Senate the formal nomination of President Duterte to bestow our beloved Senator Miriam the Quezon Service Cross. We are also thankful that the President acted favorably on the request of Sen. Grace and this representation for her nomination,” Angara said on Tuesday.
Created in 1946, the Quezon Service Cross is awarded to a person “for exemplary service to the nation in memory of the late President Manuel L. Quezon.”
The Senate and the House of Representatives must approve Santiago’s nomination for the award, which has only been given to five people since its creation.
The past recipients of the award were former Interior secretary Jesse Robredo (November 2012), former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. (August 2004), former President Ramon Magsaysay (July 1957), former President Emilio Aguinaldo (June 1956) and former ambassador Carlos P. Romulo (April 1951).