‘Her mission’s complete’
MANILA -– Even in her final days, the late former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was grateful to her supporters, especially the youth groups that helped her in the May 2016 presidential race.
Santiago’s brother, retired Gen. Benjamin Defensor, said the veteran lawmaker asked her family to keep thanking the volunteers who stood by her in the grueling poll campaigns.
“Ang ipinagbibilin niya, ituloy n’yo ang laban at pasalamat sa mga sumusuporta, lalong-lalo na sa mga kabataan na hindi siya hiniwalayan [She asked us to continue the fight and thank the supporters, especially the youth who did not leave her], to the last,” Defensor told radio DZMM.
Defensor said he has accepted the passing of his sister, who died in her sleep on Thursday, after a long battle with lung cancer.
“It was time to go. She was made for a purpose and she carried out her purpose,” he said.
“Nagawa niya ang gusto ng Panginoon para sa kanya. Tapos na ang mission niya sa mundo kaya siguro kinuha na siya [She accomplished the Lord’s will for her. Her mission in this world was already complete so maybe that's why she was taken].”
Santiago sought the presidency for the third time last May, but was visibly tired during the few sorties she had. She also had unsuccessful presidential campaigns in 1992 and 1998.
Despite her poor health, she remained popular with younger voters and for a long time had the most number of followers on social media among the presidential candidates. She also consistently topped a number of student-led election surveys organized in major universities around the country.
Santiago will be buried beside the remains of her son, Alexander.