MANILA, Philippines – To stay in the Senate, or to go and serve as judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC)?
This was the question posed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Monday, September 5, to Pinoy netizens, as she pursues her second bid for a seat at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Defensor-Santiago was nominated by the Philippines as judge of the ICC, with the polls scheduled in December. If she wins the election, she will server 9 years as ICC judge in The Hague, Netherlands.
The nomination was announced on Tuesday, August 30, to the ICC by Libran Cabactulan, the Philippine Ambassador to the UN.
On Monday, the senator’s official website posted a blog post, “Miriam wants to hear from you,” asking the public’s opinion on the matter.
“Should Miriam stay as senator until her term ends in 2016? Or should Miriam resign and serve as ICC judge at The Hague, thus bringing honor to the country?,” the blog post asked.
There is also a poll on the website, asking people to vote on the matter. As of Monday afternoon, 51% of those who responded chose to let Defensor Santiago go to the ICC in case she won.
The post came after Manila Standard Today columnist Jojo Robles, in an August 30 column, argues Defensor Santiago should stay in the Senate.
“If Santiago gets elected to the International Criminal Court it would be a great honor for Filipinos. On the other hand, if Santiago goes, she will leave behind an immense void in the Senate that none of the current legislators will be able to fill,” Robles said.
“It’s not just that Santiago has a brilliant mind and a quick, if often acerbic, wit. The feisty Ilonga senator also has more than her fair share of common sense—a trait that is so uncommon in her chamber these days,” he wrote.
The senator was nominated by Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario, and the nomination was approved by President Benigno Aquino III.
Many netizens also sounded off on the matter, replying to the lawmaker’s official Twitter account.
“The ICC post is very enticing & is a pride to the country but losing @SenMiriam will change Senate forever. We ask her to stay,” said Alvin Dakis (@alvindakis).
“@senmiriam You should stay serving our country. By staying and serving as senator is also a great honor being a Filipino,” Green Churchill (@gureenchill) tweeted.
“@senmiriam the senate’s gonna be boring without u but then, i think u’ll have better things to do in ICC. all the best and God bless u ,” said user @tantrumthrower.
In her first bid, the DFA launched a high-profile campaign to boost her chances in the 15-person body, with embassies directed to lobby with their host countries.
This is the second time she has been nominated. The first time she was nominated, she lost the nomination, which she said was opposed by three nations because of her stand on various issues. Controversy also hounded her bid, as some quarters raised concerns over her qualifications for the job. – Newsbreak