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Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago on Death and Her ‘Legacy’

March 2, 2012

Like the visionary founder of Apple Steve Jobs said, “death is a change agent.”

Apparently it is for the lady senator from Iloilo Miriam Defensor Santiago.

In one of her latest tirades against the prosecution panel, Sen. Defensor-Santiago pithily talked about the prospect of death, saying she wanted to “leave a legacy”. The feisty Senator, who earned the ire of most Aquino loyalists, was in her usual combative form, as she strongly criticized the prosecution for conducting a “trial by publicity” and for purportedly machinating a survey at the University of the Philippines wherein 75 percent of the respondents said they “no longer trust the Chief Justice [Renato Corona.”

Disgusted by this mock survey purportedly plotted by a pro-Aquino “PR firm”, the lady solon from Iloilo called for the expulsion of those 500 or so UP students who participated in the survey. 

“Kayong UP students kayo, dapat i-kick out immediately. If you are true actual persons, you do not deserve to be in UP!” she said.

Well, I strongly support the Senator’s call because the survey simply shows the intellectual bankruptcy of some people at UP and of those who conducted or helped facilitate the poll.

The Senator continued: “If I were the symbol of UP standing there naked, called the Oblation, I would immediately throw away my fig leaf! ‘Wag na tayong magtago-tago pa! E, kagaguhan lang naman pala ang pinapag-aralan sa UP kung ganyan!”

She added that she can’t imagine a survey of “500 high IQ people” saying that they already have no trust to the chief justice when the defense team has yet to present evidence.”

High IQ people? Well… Photo credit: Spot.ph

This latest political trick of the prosecution prompted the Senator to say: “You are playing games!”

The impeachment judge, who is scheduled to assume his new post as a judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC), said she wanted to “leave a legacy.”

“I was not born yesterday. I was born a long time ago and I am about to die. I want to leave a legacy. That at least, when presented with this anomaly, in trial technique, I rose to condemn it. We will be studied generations from now by other senators faced with other impeachment cases and I do not want the records to reveal that we allowed these developments to pass by uncommented on. This is a travesty!”

What the good Senator said reminds me of Steve Jobs’s 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University wherein he said that “death was a useful but purely intellectual concept.”

The visionary founder of one of America’s most successful companies said:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

It worked with Jobs. It seems it’s working with Senator Santiago. Hopefully this “purely intellectual concept” of death would work with the impeachment senators- with the prosecution and defense panels- and with all politicians who now run this country into the ground.

Santiago may not be a hardcore pro-capitalist- she may not be for the total separation of state and economy, but the good thing about her is that she understands the concept of law. In fact I say, her concept of law is closely consistent with republicanism, not with democratic legalism, which rejects the rule of law and favors public opinion or popular views– or the rule of men or rule of the mob. The Republican concept of law stresses the superiority and sanctity of the ‘rule of law’, due process and justice.

Like Sen. Santiago said: “The entire capacity of tsunami waves at Manila Bay can fall upon this court but we’ll not be affected by what you say in public or what your chosen public brings back to you.”

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