Miriam falls on Istanbul forum stage


Posted at Oct 24 2010 05:37 PM | Updated as of Oct 25 2010 06:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The show must go on for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago – with or without hypothyroidism.

The senator fell on stage at an annual forum of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday.

Santiago picked herself up and proceeded to deliver a paper after a standing ovation.

The lawmaker, who was examined by doctors after her speech, was declared in stable condition.

Hypothyroidism is a disease caused by the insufficient production of hormones by the thyroid gland.

Its symptoms include fatigue, a low heart rate, slow speech, and low body temperature.

Some who have the illness also show impaired cognitive function, sluggish reflexes, anemia, and shortness of breath.

“Doctors told me I'll be fine. I'm alright, though a little weak,” Santiago said in a Twitter message.

She has missed recent Senate sessions because of her illness.

During her speech, Santiago urged the Philippines and other countries represented in PGA to become parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The PGA is a nongovernment organization that enjoys a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Santiago was invited by the forum organizers at the panel on gender justice and women’s rights.

The Philippine delegation included Commission on Higher Education Commissioner Dr. Nenalyn Defensor and Philippine Ambassador to Turkey Pedro Chan.

 “Since the Rome Statute promises to end impunity for perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, the treaty covers gender-related atrocities,” Santiago said.

The senator said the most serious crimes of concern consist of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and aggression.

 “Such serious crimes of concern could include gender-related crimes, on the condition that there is a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against any civilian population,” she said.

The senator also pointed out that under the Rome Statute, the phrase “other inhuman acts” includes the following forms of sexual violence: rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, and forced sterilization, or other forms of sexual violence of sufficient gravity.

In addition to the resolution urging ratification of the Rome Statute in the Senate, Santiago has also been the principal author of the law on crimes against international humanitarian law, the Magna Carta of Women, and the pending reproductive health bill.

 “In debating the reproductive health bill, the Philippines should use standards based on human rights and values that are designed democratically,” she told the forum. – with a report from Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN NEWS