A nation mourns the passing of a great public servant, former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
As strong-willed and as she was, Miriam reportedly died peacefully today in her sleep amid a two-year battle with lung cancer.
Filipinos had grown fond of the eloquent stateswoman for being quite the colorful character. On and off the high courts, Sen. Miriam's intense personality has been both loved and hated by those who tuned in to local politics.
More than her intellectual rhetoric and cheesy quips, it was her impassioned statements that made her one of the most celebrated and feared politicians in the land. What made them more powerful, though, was her solid credentials and unquestioned credibility. (Well, what do you expect from a person who became part of the International Advisory Council of the International Development Law Organization?)
In honor of the Iron Lady of Asia's unwavering legacy, FHM recalls a few of the many times Miriam silenced the opposition with her combination of masterful knowledge of the law and delivery:
Remember when she reminded a former president of his place?
Miriam to Fidel V. Ramos, during the congressional inquiry on the sale of the Masinloc Power Plant in Zambales: "Sir, it is not your function to raise questions with the chair, your function is to answer. You are discharged by this chair, thank you."
Remember when she expressed strong disdain for famewhores?
Miriam during the impeachment trial of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona: "Therefore it behooves us to start with this principle: 'Justice delayed is justice denied.' Huwag na tayong magpa-epal dito dahil nawawalan ng gana ang nanonood."
Remember when she castigated a lawyer when she didn't appreciate his manner of speaking?
Miriam to Atty. Arthur Lim: "You should answer according to the rules of court as determined by the Senate acting as an impeachment court—that is the rule here...How dare you raise questions to my authority? Be careful, because I might request my colleagues to inhibit you and disqualify you from appearing here."
Remember when she didn't take too kindly to another former prosecutor's gesture of protest?
Miriam to now-Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II: "I charge this private prosecutor with contempt of this impeachment court! I have evidence right here taken by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, and to say that nasaktan ang tenga ko should have been (a cause) for you to walk out of this impeachment court. But you cannot make those contemptuous gestures in front of a judge, and get away with it."
Moral lesson: Don't dare interrupt a Miriam Defensor-Santiago.