Come Philippines’ Election 2016, what I want for the new President is someone who has a noble bravery and with strong conviction that will not be unshaken, and someone who will not hell-bent be it family or friends. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has it, for she will not be known as Asia’s Iron Lady for nothing. In several occasions, Miriam has showed her usual wrath when it seems mistaking the truth. Her strong and fierce personality like bursting volcano who doesn’t care whoever may hit her fuming mad, her exceptional academic record, encyclopedic expressions, aggressiveness and presence of mind, these are her characters I like so much. But when she joined political ally with Bongbong Marcos and ignored the brutality of Martial Law by defending it, my admiration with this Iron Lady has slowly faded like melting steel. I can’t understand how this genius giant senator, pro-poor and advocate of the oppressed people who are supporting her has suddenly became oblivious about the dark days of our country and instead justifying it.
I am not favoring Miriam to join force with Bongbong not because Bongbong is the son of the dictator but because he himself has own share of abuse during martial law, aside from a question of integrity when he tampered his Oxford University diploma. But I will not go further on Bongbong because that is another story to write and instead I will just focus on Miriam. Knowing her political prowess and expertise in law, when she said there’s nothing wrong with Marcos’ martial law which means common people will may think twice, I am now skeptical in her true objective because Miriam Defensor is known for defender of aggrieved and poor people. I don’t like the 20-year’s repressive martial law and I am renouncing all who are responsible for it, those who enjoyed and benefited from it, and those who defending it despite the fact of its heinous impression. With Miriam’s approval in martial law, this started me to go back to all her past weaknesses to finally surrender my presidential hope with her and that ends my admiration to Miriam. And by the way, Miriam contradicted the martial law ruling on the cases against Lino Brocka, Behn Cervantes et al to free from detention that the same martial law she is now saying nothing wrong.
Miriam is a political butterfly who flies whoever is in power for her convenience. She has no permanent interest but only personal agenda who shifted alliances from one to another for own security. There were times she heavily criticized Joseph Estrada on both governmental and personal issue during his Vice Presidential post then later on defended him when she became cabinet member under Estrada administration. She roasted the PCIBank officer in defense for Estrada’s plunder case. Then she protected Gloria Arroyo in many controversies involving the first family, saved them during Hello Garci controversy by blocking it with wiretapping as crime, and acquitted Chief Justice Renato Corona during the impeachment. And the infamous quote when she said “I lied” in response to her failed anticipation “I will jump headfirst from a helicopter in Luneta if Estrada gets removed from power”, this really doubted my respect to her from then on. Now, her team-up with Bongbong showed her true color as political butterfly. The sequence of occurrences showed the changes of Miriam moods that made me stop to put her in pedestal. Even her faith was tested during the untimely death of her son. She is questioning the presence and the supreme power of God, claiming all her achievements are her hard work and not as blessings. This makes a conclusion where she gets her courageous that if even God she’s got the gut to question, how much more us as ordinary people? She’s repugnant.
What I always admire with Miriam is her courage, brilliance and wit to handle issues and controversies, but not until today. Gone are the days I look up on her as bright lawmaker, rightful politician during her leadership as secretary in Agrarian Reform, and brave campaign against child pedophile as the Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation. With her color now, I think she goes with Bongbong for campaign fund. This is political suicide but if her funny and feisty mood that are “in” to many youth and modernized citizens may win her, which is alarming, she may pull up Bongbong. And if they win, the question to her health to finish her term may put at risk will give the clear opportunity to Bongbong to sit in the presidency which is a clear indication of Marcoses’ regaining the whole power again that the prime agenda in going back to Malacanang is just to recover sequestered properties and do the unfinished jobs that were withheld from them since 1986.
By Alex V. Villamayor
October 26, 2015