Duterte sets highest honor for Miriam

November 30, 2018
Miriam Defensor Santiago
Miriam Defensor Santiago

President Rodrigo Duterte will confer the Quezon Service Cross on the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, making her the first female to receive the highest civilian service award in the Philippines.

The award will be conferred posthumously at a ceremony in Malacañang on Monday, according to the President’s schedule released to the media yesterday.

In compliance with the award’s requirements, Duterte endorsed Santiago’s name to Congress for its approval late last year.

The Senate approved the nomination on December 11, 2017 while the House of Representatives gave its concurrence last February 20.

Before Santiago, only five people have been given the award since its creation in 1946 in memory of the late President Manuel Quezon.

The Quezon Service Cross have been awarded posthumously to former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo (November 2012), former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. (August 2004) and former President Ramon Magsaysay (July 1957).

Receiving the award during their lifetime were former President Emilio Aguinaldo (June 1956) and former United Nations General Assembly President Carlos Romulo (April 1951).

“Throughout her life, Miriam Defensor Santiago used her considerable talents for the service of our people and our nation while exhibiting remarkable passion, courage, and integrity,” Duterte said in his letter to then-Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III dated November 20, 2017.

“She inspired generations of Filipinos to aspire for excellence and remain steadfast against any challenge and adversity,” the letter said.