(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte conferred the Quezon Service Cross to the late the late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, in a historical posthumous awarding ceremony in Malacanang on Monday, December 3.
“I am deeply honored to lead the Filipino people in conferring to the late Senator the Quezon Service Cross — the highest recognition for outstanding civilian service by the Republic of the Philippines,” Duterte said.
Accepting the award is the late Senator’s husband, Presidential Adviser for Revenue Enhancement, Undersecretary Narciso Santiago, Jr.
House Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, together with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, assisted President Duterte during the awarding ceremony.
During his speech, President Duterte extolled the late senator’s “skills, intellect and dedication to public service” which, he said, touched the lives of many Filipinos.
“In the Senate, she would make her mark not just by crafting crucial legislation that shaped the future of our nation, but also by helping formulate policies that touched the lives of ordinary Filipinos,” he said.
“Senator Santiago’s skills, intellect, and dedication to public service had been recognized by various organizations in the Philippines and around the world, the most prestigious of which is the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s counterpart of the Nobel Prize, for Government Service,” the President said.
He also spoke of Senator Santiago’s commitment to public service – serving the Filipinos for almost 50 years in two branches of government (Judiciary and Legislature). He believed that throughout Santiago’s stellar career, she embodied the highest standards expected of any public servant with her academic, professional, and moral excellence.
“Throughout her life, Senator Santiago profoundly stirred our nation, especially the youth, to challenge pre-conceived notions on political and social issues,” Duterte said.
Santiago, dubbed as the “Iron Lady of Asia,” was also known for her no-nonsense drive against graft and corruption.
The President compared her to the late President Manuel Quezon for her values, ideals, and dedication to public service.
He also hoped that Santiago’s legacy would inspire future generations of Filipinos.
“May Senator Santiago’s shining example be the legacy that we will leave behind to future generations of Filipinos. Let her memory serve as the light that will guide us towards a more progressive, inclusive and equitable society,” Duterte said.