Duterte nominates Miriam Santiago for Quezon Service Cross

POSTHUMOUS NOMINATION. The late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is nominated for the highest civilian award.

File photo by Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB

MANILA, Philippines – The late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago may become the 6th Filipino to be given the Quezon Service Cross after she was nominated by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday, December 5 that it transmitted to Congress the nomination letter signed by Duterte on November 20.

The awarding of the Quezon Service Cross, the highest national recognition, requires the concurrence of Congress after a nomination by the Philippine President.

Since it was created in 1946, it has so far been awarded to only 5 Filipinos:

Magsaysay, Aquino, and Robredo were given the award after their deaths.

Senator Juan Edgardo Angara welcomed Duterte's nomination of Santiago. He, along with Senator Grace Poe, requested the nomination.

"The late Senator Miriam deserves no less than the President's official endorsement for the nation's recognition of her exemplary contribution as a public servant," he said in a statement.

Angara said that, in his letter to Congress, Duterte praised Santiago for having used her talents in service of the Filipino people while showing "remarkable passion, courage, and integrity."

"She inspired generations of Filipinos to aspire for excellence and remain steadfast against any challenge and adversity," said Duterte.

Santiago, who died at the age of 71 on September 29, 2016, served the Senate for 3 terms, for a total of 18 years: from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 until 2016. (READ: Miriam Defensor Santiago: 'God is not out there but in you')

She ran for president 3 times, most recently in the 2016 elections. Duterte, a fellow presidential candidate, had acknowledged her brilliance during the campaign. (READ: 15 things to know about Miriam Santiago)

She is recognized as a legal luminary who authored or sponsored many landmark bills including the Reproductive Health Act, Magna Carta for Women, Renewable Energy Law, Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Sin Tax Law, and Climate Change Act. – Rappler.com 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.