Video: Miriam Defensor Santiago – The Iron Lady of Asia

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is among the most interesting senators in the country with her wit, humor, and feistiness. Moreso because of a long list of awards she received. Her popularity has always been high, even being dubbed as “The Iron Lady of Asia” by Asia Magazine in 1989



Here are some things that you should know about Miriam Defensor Santiago.

1. She always graduated with honors

From grade school to law school, Santiago has proven that she is among the smartest students in school. She graduated valedictorian in elementary and high school, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines. She also graduated from the UP College of Law with a Bachelor of Law degree, cum laude.

Santiago is also a holder of three honorary Doctor of Law degrees from University of San Agustin, Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan de Oro, and Centro Escolar University.

2. She is the first female agrarian reform secretary, and first female Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation

Santiago was the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation from 1988 to 1989, and Secretary of Agrarian Reform from 1989 to 1990 during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino. She is the first female to hold both positions.

In 1968, she became the editor-in-chief of the official school paper of the University of the Philippines, The Philippine Collegian, the first female to be named as such after 50 years.

3. Santiago was a beauty title holder

The feisty senator said she held a campus beauty title, not only once, but twice. She was part of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) corps sponsor while she was studying law at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

4. Santiago loved to dance.

She also said she loved to dance when she was younger, posting a picture of her young self with her brother, Gen. Benjamin Defensor.






5. Santiago is the first Filipino to be elected as judge of the International Criminal Court.

She was elected by the States Parties to Rome Statute as judge of the International Criminal Court in 2011. She is the first Filipino, and first Southeast Asian to be elected as such.

6. She has written several books, with her law books often cited in Supreme Court cases.

As an experienced lawyer and legislator, Santiago’s books on law have been used in several Supreme Court cases. She has also published several books on politics and law.

She has also recently published two books of quotes, Stupid is Forever and Stupid is Forevermore, as well as other books about herself

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