MANILA, Philippines – Former interior and local government undersecretary Narciso “Jun” Santiago Jr said he is sad that praises are coming in for his wife, the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, now that she’s dead.
"Ang pagpuri sa kanya sana nagawa nung buhay pa siya," Santiago, teary-eyed, told reporters on Friday, September 30. (The praises for her should have been given when she was still alive.)
"Katulad ni Presidente Duterte, binuhos nila sa pagsisilbi sa bayan at sa tao. Pero noong buhay siya, hindi siya nabigyan ng..." he said, unable to finish his sentence. (Like President Duterte, she gave her life serving the country and the people. But when she was alive she wasn't given...)
Santiago immediately proceeded to the chapel in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.
Condolences and appreciation of her work in government continued to come in. Santiago's political enemies, including former President Fidel Ramos and former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, also sent their condolences to the family. (READ: Miriam in chiaroscuro)
Young Filipinos who have been with Santiago in her entire political career also volunteered to help the family prepare the wake of the late senator. (READ: Till the end: Miriam's youth army helps in her wake)
The senator, who died last September 29, is best known for serving all 3 branches of government. Before her long stint in the Senate, she also served as a judge and secretary of agrarian reform. (READ: 15 things to know about Miriam Santiago)
In 2011, Santiago was elected as the first Filipino judge of the International Criminal Court. She let go of that post, however, after she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2014.
Santiago ran for the presidency 3 times – in 1992, 1998 and 2016 – but lost in all bids. – Rappler.com