Miriam Defensor-Santiago (born Miriam Palma Defensor on June 15, 1945) is a Filipina lawyer, politician, and a Senator of the Philippines, with a focus on Constitutional Law. She is the founder and current leader of the People's Reform Party as well as its former presidential candidate.
Santiago was born in Iloilo City, Iloilo to District Judge Benjamin A. Defensor and Dimpna Palma Defensor. In her youth, she graduated as class valedictorian in both elementary and high school levels.
Despite a three-month bout with illness, Santiago graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1965. She finished in three and a half. Upon graduation, she was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi international honor societies.
She was the first female editor-in-chief of the university's student newspaper, The Philippine Collegian, in its fifty-year history. She was twice made Corps Sponsor of the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Santiago has participated in numerous oratorical, public speaking, and debate contests in high school, college, and law school.
She earned a Bachelor of Laws, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines College of Law in Diliman in 1969. Her classmates include former Senate President Franklin Drilon, San Juan Representative Ronaldo Zamora, and Eli Pamatong. Miriam took the 1969 Bar Exams and passed with a 78% Bar rating. Santiago decided to teach Political Science to undergraduates at Trinity College of Quezon City.
She then attended the University of Michigan Law School from 1974 to 1976, earning the degrees of Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science.
Santiago continued enrolling in short courses, attending seminars and participating in conferences locally and abroad. In 1995, at the age of fifty, she completed the academic requirements for a Master of Arts in Religious Studies at the Maryhill School of Theology with an average grade of 1.25. In 1996, at the age of fifty-one, she attended the Summer Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School. In 1997, at age fifty-two, she attended the Summer Program in Law at Oxford University.
When she lost in the Senate race of 2001, she worked on updating her law and political science textbooks, which were last released 2002.
In 1986, Santiago was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Professionals of the Philippine Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1988, she was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the local equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
In 1996, The Australian Magazine ranked Santiago 69th among "The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World", sharing the honor with former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos who ranked 58th.
10. Miriam Grills Jun Lozada
When it was Senator Miriam turn to question the famous star witness to the ZTE-Broadband deal scandal, everything seems to fire up.
9. Miriam on Pork Barrel Funds
Senator Miriam is know for her boldness and rapid fire oratorical skills. This is her stand on the Countrywide Development Fund, or what is commonly referred to as the “Pork Barrel Fund”.
8. Miriam on Deadly Billboards
The Xangsane Typhoon “Milenyo” is the strongest typhoon to hit manila in 11 years. Offices and the Philippine Stock Exchange was closed down, and electricity was out for about a week.
In Manila, majority of the people were killed by giant falling billboards all across the metro.
7. Miriam on Corporate Curruption
People loves Miriam for her colourful character in the Philippine senate. They always wait for that moment when the senator is all fired up and can’t wait to smite the living hell out of people. Maybe this is the reason behind some people calling her The Dragon Lady of Asia.
6. Miriam at the UN
This is one of many videos out there that expresses the desire of the senator to run for President in the Philippines.
5. Miriam with Congressman Zubiri
It was valentines day when the armor of the feisty lady senator weakened when she was presented a rose by congressman Zubiri. “There will be no more open public debates,” Zubiri said when he was asked if he was willing to debate with the Senator.
4. Miriam on the Nomination for Chief Justice
I think the Senator is qualified to be the Chief Justice. She’s even qualified to run the whole country if you ask me.
3. Miriam Jokes Around
I don’t know where this speech happened. Try to listen to the senator as she makes fun of politician and stupid people.
2. Miriam on China
Ok, maybe she has crossed the line this time when she said that china is the nation that conceptualized corruption for all humanity.
The funny thing about this senate hearing was that, after this “china is the source of corruption” issue, there, on her table a pending invitation for her to go to China together with the President.
1. Miriam Wants A Western Style Shoot ‘em Up Showdown
Her walk out in the senate (seen above) was sensationalized by the print media. On her privilege speech, she challenged her opponent for a shoot ‘em up, western style in luneta.
Source: Videos by YouTube
Background Information: Wiki