Memorial service set for Miriam Santiago's 1st death anniversary

MANILA, Philippines – This Friday, September 29, marks the first death anniversary of esteemed senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

To commemorate her passing, a program is set at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City where she was laid to rest.

The event was organized by Youth for Miriam, the same group of volunteers who mounted Santiago's campaign during the 2016 elections. 

Friday's gathering is open to the public. Those who wish to join Santiago's family and friends are requested to wear red – the color she used in her previous presidential bids.

Assembly time is at 8:30 in the morning. This will immediately be followed by the program. 

Two Masses will be presided by Fr Virgilio Ojoy and Fr Jovel Palermo at 10 am and 4:30 pm. Supporters are also set to offer a presentation called "Harana Para Kay Miriam" at 6 pm. 

Santiago peacefully died in her sleep while confined at St Luke's Medical Center in Taguig City last year. She was 71 years old.

She ran for president for the 3rd time months before her death, with former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr as her running mate. Santiago finished last among the 5 contenders.

The feisty senator, known as the Iron Lady of Asia, announced in 2014 that she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. A year later, she said that she had beaten the fatal disease and announced her presidential bid. (READ: The Last Battle of Miriam Defensor Santiago

Her medical condition was a major issue on the campaign trail, highlighted by her limited public appearances. Santiago was asked to bare her medical records but the senator refused, saying it would be a violation of her rights.

Santiago is best known as the public official who worked in all 3 branches of the government. She served in various capacities in the Department of Justice, Department of Agrarian Reform, and the Bureau of Immigration. She was also a judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a long-time senator from 1995 until her final years.

Overseas, she served as legal officer of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Switzerland. She was also elected as a judge of the International Criminal Court in 2011 but gave up the position due to her illness. (READ: Miriam Defensor Santiago: 'God is not out there but in you'– 

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.