While the country mourns the loss of a brilliant and fearless politician, let us all commemorate the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago with a list of the 5 reasons why the “Iron Lady of Asia” is the greatest senator the Philippines has ever had.

1. Her unparalleled intelligence.

Senator Miriam Santiago wasn’t merely satisfied by graduating and finishing her education. She aimed higher and made sure that she graduated at the top of her class, always with honors and studying at the top schools in and out of the country. She valued her personal education so much that she studied for 50 years (1950-2000) in 13 different universities around the globe which includes the University of the Philippines (UP), Harvard University, Oxford University, Cambridge University, University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley and The Hague Academy of International Law in Belgium and Japan.

2. Her numerous local and international awards.

Back in 1988 she was given the Magsaysay Award for Government Service for excellent work as a public official. Since then, she’s been conferred with many awards such as The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) and The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Award for Law, the Golden Jubilee Achievement Award for public service, an “Order of Civil Merit” from Spain, a spot at the Philippine Judges’ Hall of Fame and she was also named as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in the World” back in 1996.

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3. Her great contributions to the Philippine law.

After almost five decades of being a public servant, Senator Miriam Santiago was able to contribute a lot to the laws in the Philippines. She had amended the Philippine Constitutional Law – volumes 1 and 2 and annotated the Rules of Court, the Civil Code, the Penal Code, the Corporation Code, the Election Code, the Insurance Code and the Constitution, just to name a few. Aside from that, she also authored several laws which include the Republic Health Act of 2012, the Sin Tax Law, the Magna Carta of Women, the Cyber Crime Act of 2012 and the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

4. Her unwavering will and love for her fellowmen.

Despite her deteriorating health, Senator Miriam Santiago still continued to serve her country. Even though she was already diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, the strong-willed lawmaker still pursued a position in the senate and filed her candidacy for presidency for the 2016 national elections. Instead of taking time off from the stressful life of politics, Senator Miriam Santiago stayed true to her convictions and opted to serve her people till the very end. She showed the same resolve and willpower when she was a legal officer for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, a presiding judge at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Quezon City, the commissioner of Immigration and Deportation, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform, a senator and when she was elected as the judge of the ICC.

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5. Her endearing pick-up lines.

The boisterous lady senator was always known for her tough-talking and serious manner. However, in the recent years, Senator Miriam Santiago gave everyone a glimpse to a different side of her, a side that smiles and cracks up jokes. Perhaps one of the biggest factors that endeared us Filipinos to her is her penchant for pick-up lines. Here are some examples:

“Kapag mamamatay na ako, huwag na huwag kang pupunta sa libingan ko kasi baka tumibok ulit ang puso ko.”

“Malabo na talaga ang mata ko. Pwede ba akong humingi sa iyo ng kahit konting pagtingin?”

“Suicide, homicide, insecticide, lahat pamatay. Pero kung gusto mong pampabuhay, i-try mo ang ‘by my side.’”

“Nakalunok ka ba ng kwitis, kasi pag ngumiti ka, may spark!”

“Galing mo din ano? Hindi mo pa ako binabato, tinamaan na ako!”

Photo Cover from PhilStar