Pacquiao pays tribute to Miriam: We shall wait for your return
“We shall wait for your return, Iron Lady of Asia,” neophyte Senator Manny Pacquiao said of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who passed away last September 29 due to lung cancer.
Pacquiao noted that in Santiago’s book “Stupid is forever,” she talked about her preference to have an “ISR” engraved in her tomb, instead of the usual RIP (rest in peace).
“Ang gusto nya po ay ISR — I shall return. With this, we shall wait for your return, Iron lady of Asia,” he said when he stood up on the floor to pay tribute to the late senator.
As the “Iron Lady of Asia,” Pacquiao said, Santiago has proven that not even her cancer could stop her from serving the country.
“Despite her condition, she pursued her role a leader, who rendered excellent service in all branches of government —judiciary, executive and legislative,” he said.
“She showed us that she can overcome anything even her battles with herself in order to selflessly serve. She lived a life of passion as she showed justice for the Filipino people. She fearlessly fought those who blocked our country’s progress.”
Pacquiao said Santiago was not afraid of being judged.
“She is a woman of power yet she manifested humanity,” he said.
“Even in her death, she taught us valuable lessons. For a neophyte senator like me, she would have been a great mentor,” Pacquiao added.
After his tribute, the senator moved that all senators present on the floor be made co-authors of Senate resolution 179, expressing the chamber’s profound sympathy and sincere condolences on Santiago’s death. The resolution was filed by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
But Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said he would just adopt Pacquiao’s motion later as another colleague, Senator Joel Villanueva, would also give his own tribute to the late senator.
“The last time I heard it was Senator Sotto who was the Majority Leader,” Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, who was presiding over the session, said in an apparent dig at Pacquiao.
It was also Pacquiao, who also made a motion on the floor to unseat Drilon’s partymate Senator Leila de Lima as chair of the Senate justice committee and human rights, investigating the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.
Upon Pacquiao’s motion, de Lima was removed as chair and replaced by Senator Richard Gordon. JE