Leaders of the lower House on Thursday joined the nation in mourning the death of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
Congressmen issued several statements to the media after hearing news of Santiago's death.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said, "We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago. With her passing we lost one of the country’s most vocal and feisty defenders of our nation’s sovereignty and national interest; one of the most feared campaigners against corruption in government. We would also miss not only her trademark colorful language that stung foes and chastised incompetent officials, but also her cutting intelligence and wit that endeared her to a horde of youthful followers. We will forever be grateful to Sen. Santiago for dedicating her life to the service of our nation."
Former President and now House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo described Santiago as "a dear and true friend and loyal ally."
In a statement, Arroyo said, "Senator Miriam’s life is the epitome of courage, brilliance, eloquence, dedication to public service and commitment to good governance. The Philippines has lost a truly outstanding and irreplaceable leader in Senator Miriam! I extend my deepest sympathies to Atty. Jun Santiago, their children and their whole family. She will be truly missed."
Former House Speaker Sonny Belmonte said, "My family and I are saddened by the passing of Sen. Miriam Santiago, whom I maintained a cordial relationship with through the years. I was also godfather to her son who passed away. Philippine politics will not be the same without the staunch and feisty Miriam. We will miss her intelligence, wit and vast legal expertise which she has shared as university professor and earned for the country the distinction of being the first Asian elected judge to the International Criminal Court. It was a privilege to have worked with Miriam and we thank her for her dedication to the country having served well in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our government. To Atty. Jun Santiago and the rest of her family who fought this difficult cancer battle with her -- my deepest sympathy and prayers."
Bayan Muna Rep.Carlos Isagani Zarate said, "The Iron Lady is gone but she had a well-ironed place in our history as a respected jurist, executive bureaucrat, legislator, international law expert, and, of late, a master par excellence in 'hugot lines.' More importantly, though, she's an ally in the campaign against pork barrel and against onerous foreign treaties like the VFA and EDCA. To paraphrase one of her hugot lines, mahirap makipaglaro sa yo ng taguan, because someone like her is hard to find. Requiescat in pace MDS!"
Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said, "Our nation lost a fearless fighter, full of ideals and ideas. An ideal public servant and a very dear friend. We will always cherish our struggles in her presidential candidacy in 1992 as the standard bearer of the People’s Reform Party (PRP). We condole with the family she left behind."
Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said, "We offer our profound condolences to Mr. Narciso Santiago and his family on the passing of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. We remember Sen. Miriam as a feisty senator who valiantly went against the tide and strongly defended the sovereignty of the Philippines in her many moves to call for the abrogation of lopsided deals with the United States, including the Visiting Forces Agreement and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement. A visionary with a firm grasp of social justice, Sen. Miriam served as one of the beacons of hope in the Senate. The Filipino people, especially the youth, will forever be grateful for her manifold contributions to building an independent and prosperous Philippines."