Youth remember the fiery, feisty ‘Iron Lady of Asia’
What does the youth miss about late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago?
Members of the Youth Reform Movement (YRM), formerly Youth for Miriam, attended the celebration of the beloved senator’s birth anniversary organized by her family, friends and supporters at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.
Hailed as the “Iron Lady of Asia” by Asia Magazine in 1989, Santiago would have turned 73 years old on Friday, June 15.
Despite Santiago’s death nearly two years ago, YRM vice chairman for operations Vincent Jerome Agustin said the late senator’s fiery spirit is still alive in their hearts.
“What I miss most about Senator Miriam was her strong conviction in fighting the corrupt elements in the government,” Agustin told INQUIRER.net.
“Even now, when society is filled with darkness, we need a light, and that was how we saw Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago,” he said. “It’s sad that she’s gone now but we’re determined to continue her fight.”
Paolo Quimbo, YRM vice chairperson for programs, said he saw the feisty legislator as a politician who refused to fight for the interests of oligarchs and political parties.
“We need politicians like Miriam who puts the welfare of the people first. She is not beholden to political parties. She is not indebted to oligarchs,” Quimbo said.
“What we need are people like Miriam who would uphold the Constitution and would fight for everyone’s rights,” he added.
On the other hand, Justin Michael Beneraba, recalled the late senator’s passionate speeches at the Senate.
“I miss the fiery speeches she delivered at the Senate, how she stands on issues. During her time, I find the Senate lively when she was there,” Beneraba said.
Beneraba, like Agustin and Quimbo, was a volunteer of Santiago’s presidential campaign in the 2016 national elections.
“The youth was so active when she was in office, when she was still alive. A lot of us wanted to participate in the political process. I think now, there are still more members of the youth who are active, and I hope this goes on. I hope her legacy continues,” he said. /kga
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