Why Miriam Defensor-Santiago Has My One Vote

Disclaimer: The opinion/s of this writer is not reflective of the sentiments of this group. 

Every time I write an entry, it feels a little like kneeling in front of a priest and confessing (except that when you confess to a priest, you know he’s obligated not to judge you. Not quite so when you blog though 🙂 )As with my previous piece on Heneral Luna, let me preface this by saying that this is the first time I am explaining in writing why I have chosen a particular candidate to be our country’s president.

Let me give you a brief history of my voting life. Ever since I became of age to vote, I have exercised my right. I voted for De Venecia (a knee-jerk reaction just because I thought he was most likely to win against Erap). I willingly voted for GMA. I campaigned the hardest, and voted for the Gordon-Bayani tandem. And except for De Venecia, I can honestly say that I stand by my choices, and would vote for the same should I be asked to do it all over again.

In 2016, the Filipino people will once again vote for their president. A couple of days ago, I was getting desperate. The loudest and most popular three (Binay, Poe, and Roxas) were not at all appealing to me. The rest were just nuisance candidates, which while entertaining, was making the Philippines look ridiculous to the world. I was at the verge of telling my hubby that (shudder) I was going to vote for Mar just because there really wasn’t anybody else and he was ‘the lesser evil’ (a reasoning I have come to hate).

Then finally, a few days short of the last day of filing, Miriam Defensor-Santiago announces that she is running. And immediately after, I announce to my world (all 80 of my FB friends-woohoo!) that I am voting for her without hesitation. And here are just a few of the reasons why (not in order of importance).

  1. She is a proponent of the Anti-Dynasty Bill

In the Philippine political scene, you will be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a relative in office. Miriam is probably one of the handful of people who can push for this bill because she follows and believes in it. In fact, it is one of the reasons Miriam clashed with Binay because he is strongly against this, although it is clearly stated in our constitution.

  1. She takes her work seriously

Probably the most prolific senator in terms of law-making, Santiago has filed a total of 1,007 bills and resolutions, as of December 17, the last session day of Congress in 2014 (and this was while battling cancer). Among the most important bills Santiago sponsored or authored since her election in 2004 were the: Reproductive Health Act; Biofuels Law; Renewable Energy Law; Sin Tax Law; Magna Carta of Women; Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act; Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity; Cybercrime Law; Seatbelt Law; Exact Change Act; Philippine Standard Time Act; Motorcycle Helmet Act; Kasambahay Law; And the Anti Bullying Law. Just to give a comparison, during Noynoy Aquino’s stint as a senator, he passed a staggering 1 bill.

  1. Great writer, confident speaker

Before the best selling Stupid is Forever, Miriam had already authored books on law and the social sciences. She is a favorite speaker of universities because not only is she eloquent, she knows how to inspire passion. A wide reader, she is also known for having a thirst for knowledge. Again, allow me to reference back to Noy whose SONA always, always manages to make me feel empty and cold (my opinion, obviously).

  1. She knows International Law

In 2012, Miriam became the first Filipina and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected a judge of the International Criminal Court. For those who don’t know (myself included), the International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in the Netherlands. The ICC apparently has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocidecrimes against humanity, and war crimes. This might come in handy especially since China is closing in on some of our islands.

  1. The girl has a sense of humor

Read Stupid is Forever to get a glimpse of the funny woman that she is.

While she can shoot off her mouth at times, who wouldn’t blow their temper once in a while if you’re always surrounded by the likes of Lito Lapid, the Estradas and the Revillas? If anything, I applaud her for her restraint. I don’t think I can control myself if I were within close proximity of these people most of the time. And yes, I admit that she can be very feisty, and a tad bit over-the-top in some circumstances, but c’mon guys, this is politics. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a penchant for grandstanding.

Bottom line is, whoever you’re voting for this coming elections, the least you can do is to get to know your candidates objectively. Wait, I change my mind. The least you can do is register and actually vote. I still believe my one vote counts, and I am wholeheartedly giving it to Miriam. Now, as for Bongbong, that is a different story altogether.

Note: Data has been sourced from GMA News, Wikipedia and Political Blogs

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