Press Release
December 11, 2017

Sen. Joel Villanueva's manifestation on reso granting highest civil award for the late Sen. Miriam Santiago

Mr. President, this representation manifests my strongest support for this resolution as a fitting tribute to Asia's Iron Lady, former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

This representation believes that Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was a "rock star" - isang rock star na nagbigay inspirasyon at impluwensiya sa mamamayang Pilipino na tumayo at magsalita para sa kapakanan ng bayan, at huwag matakot na ipaglaban ang katotohanan, katarungan at katwiran.

I was a first termer and the youngest member of the House of Representatives when I first met Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. From that moment until today, I've realized how much my political life, my advocacies and attributes as a public official was hugely influenced by MDS.

MDS dedicated her life to public service. Her unique sense of humor and witticisms have earned her a lot of fans from the millenials, while her bold and moral leadership have been legendary in all three branches of the government, but especially in the halls of this august Chamber. Her fearlessness has also earned her the respect and admiration of friends and enemies alike.

Makakakita pa kaya tayo ulit ng isang Miriam Defensor-Santiago sa ating lifetime?

Truly, Senator Defensor-Santiago deserves the attention and respect of the highest legislative office of the land. Indeed, her life is one that is well lived, and is a testament that one's life can be used to reach the impossible, despite its brevity.

Maraming salamat po.

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