Miriam Santiago steps down as ICC judge

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Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has resigned as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) for health reasons.

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In her letter to ICC President Sang-Hyun Song dated June 3, 2014, Santiago said she is stepping down as elected judge and that the ICC should start looking for her replacement.

“I will support the procedures of the Assembly of State Parties later this year, so that a replacement judge can be duly elected,” she stated in her letter.

Santiago noted that since she was elected as judge in December 2011, she has secured treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.

The senator was diagnosed with the illness in 2008. She was advised by her doctors to take a leave of absence from the Senate.

Santiago was reelected as senator in 2010 but she seldom attended regular sessions because of her medical condition.

She was elected ICC judge during elections held in the United Nations in New York in December 2011, the first Filipino and Asian to get the post. She would have served for nine years.

In 2008, the senator sought a seat at the International Court of Justice but lost.

Last year, she requested that she be the last to be called to take her post at The Hague in order to give her time in performing her duties as a senator.

Her decision not to assume her post at the ICC would mean that she will serve as senator until 2016.

Santiago had said she will run for president in 2016 if all those implicated in the pork barrel fund scam will be brought to court.

Three incumbent senators are facing plunder at the Office of the Ombudsman—Juan Ponce Enrile Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

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