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MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II paid respects to the remains of former Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, whom he had a conflict with back in 2012.
Aguirre visited the long-time senator’s remains on Friday evening, September 30.
The justice secretary earlier said he regretted not making amends with Santiago when he had the chance.
During the impeachment trial of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona in 2012, Aguirre irritated the female senator when he covered his ears while Santiago was chiding the prosecution. Aguirre was a private lawyer in the prosecuting panel at the time.
Speaking to reporters after seeing Santiago’s remains, Aguirre said: “Kapag nagkaron kayo ng kagalitan wag mo nang hintayin.. tulugan mo na lang but reconcile with each other as soon as possible
(If you have a conflict with someone, sleep it through but reconcile with each other as soon as possible.)
Aside from Aguirre, cabinet members Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo and budget secretary Benjamin Diokno also attended the wake.
Corona’s wife, Cristina also came to visit Santiago, who voted for the chief justice’s acquittal.
“We are very, very sad. She is an exemplary public servant. She was very cuorageous and knowledgeable. It is really a loss for our country,” said Cristina.
Former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte Second District Representative Imelda Marcos paid her respects, as well.
Her son, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, visited a night ahead. Marcos Jr is Santiago’s running mate in the last elections.
“History will always remember senator miriam santiago as one of the most outstanding leaders if our country,” said Marcos, who is Santiago’s god mother in her 50th wedding anniversary.
Several politicians came all throughout the second day of the public viewing of Santiago’s remains.
Vice President Leni Robredo, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and former Bayan Muna Representatives Neri Colmenares and Satur Ocampo visited in the late afternoon.
Most of the prominent visitors came in later in the evening. These include former presidents Joseph Estrada and Benigno Aquino III, former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr, and former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson. – Rappler.com