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'The Iron Lady is dead': Filipinos mourn death of Miriam Santiago

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos took to social media to mourn the death of former senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, describing her passing as the loss of the Philippines' Iron Lady.

On Thursday, September 29, news of Santiago's death immediately spread online, triggering an outpouring of sadness and shock.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago died peacefully today at 8:52 a.m. Details of the interment will be announced later. (1/2) — Miriam Santiago (@senmiriam) September 29, 2016

Less than an hour after the news broke, several searches related to Santiago's death trended in the Philippines on Twitter, taking 6 out of the 10 trending topic slots.

The feisty, esteemed senator from Iloilo had always amused the nation with her quick wit and sharp humor.

She was also known for being fearless when it came to raising issues, and often had stinging words for those she deemed had done wrong. (READ: Miriam Defensor Santiago: 'God is not out there but in you')

Santiago's running mate in the May 2016 elections, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, posted this message on his Facebook page:

Government officials posted about how they would miss Santiago:

Sen. Miriam Santiago, you will always be remembered. Thank you for selflessly serving our country and the filipino people. — Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) September 29, 2016 RiP Sen Miriam.  you will be missed. Thanks for the many years of courageous service to the nation — Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) September 29, 2016 My sincerest condolences to the family of Sen. Miriam Santiago.She will be greatly missed.Senator,thank you for your service to our country. — Geraldine Roman (@geraldinebroman) September 29, 2016 I remember knowing you've arrived during Blue Ribbon Committee hearings when whispers of excitement would awaken the walls of the Session Hall. All of a sudden, everyone was paying careful attention. You were always a force to be reckoned with, ma'am. You presented strength and brilliance everywhere you went and made sure people noticed. We did, and we admire you for it. Rest in peace, Sen. Miriam. Heaven got fiercer today. #RIPMiriam A photo posted by TG Guingona (@tgguingona) on Sep 28, 2016 at 8:13pm PDT


The public expressed their condolences to the late senator's loved ones:

The Iron Lady is dead. Rest in Peace, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago (1945-2016) — Jeremy Moreno (@Njeremyy) September 29, 2016 Thank you po for the great service that you gave to our country... Paalam madam Miriam Santiago... #RIPMDS — rommel davillo (@melloydcruz) September 29, 2016 Now we know why the sky is crying.  Thank you Sen. Miriam Santiago. #RIPMiriamSantiago — P R I N C E (@Prince_Sipe) September 29, 2016 Nobody can replace the way Sen. Miriam Santiago deals with stupid politicians. #RIPMiriamSantiago — Juan (@jkmiguel_) September 29, 2016 This country mourns the loss of one of its best, brightest and strongest. Thank you for everything, Sen. Miriam Santiago. Rest peacefully — Tazjana Lebrilla (@toitanya) September 29, 2016


Others lamented that she would have made a great president.

RIP to the best president we never had, Miriam Defensor Santiago — Marco Gumabao (@marcogumabao) September 29, 2016 We shouted your name as our ideal president. It aches us to see you go. Sen. Miriam Santiago — Reden Diane  (@Rdendiane) September 29, 2016 RIP to the Philippines biggest "what if". Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago — . (@eguidwilma11) September 29, 2016


The number of tweets about Santiago's passing is growing by the second. The tweets can be viewed as they come in here:

Tweets about Sen. Miriam Santiago


What will you remember the most about the late Miriam Defensor Santiago? Share your thoughts about her life and legacy on X. –