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Intelligence Report – Election Watch 2016 – Miriam Defensor Santiago

Last Update: Feb 15, 2016 (Latest updates in GREEN.  Previous updates in BLUE. )


Image edited from Wikipedia

A compilation of articles, statements, and events of the top candidates minus Binay because he deserves no attention. Please visit regularly for updates (this is by no means comprehensive – it gets updated as I have time – and I will do my best each gets updated at the same time for the sake of fairness). I’ll do my best to create a sense of order either by topic or chronology.

If a new article proves another article is false or misinformed – it will be deleted with an addendum in the new link. Unconfirmed sources that seem credible will be noted (please comment if you find inconsistencies or have sources that hold counter to the information presented). Biased article headlines will be avoided as much as possible.

This was created in the effort to make an informed vote. I’m still undecided. And with the nature of Philippine politics, I believe you should be too. Because who knows, some fucker might slip and say they believe Marcos was the best president on the last day. Then shit, they’ve lost my vote automatically.


Please leave the comments as civil as possible and avoid campaigning. Have a relevant and reliable link/source? Please share so I can update the list.

NAME: Miriam Defensor Santiago
AGE: 70
PARTY: The People Reform’s Party
RUNNING MATE: Bong Bong Marcos

Track Record and Background:

(most information extracted from the CV on the Senate Website)

  • 1971-1974 – Professor of Political Science, Trinity University of Asia
  • 1972- 1975 – Opinion Columnist, Philippines Daily Express newspaper
  • 1977-1979 – Member, Board of Censors for Motion Pictures
  • 1970-1980 – Special Assistant to the Secretary of Justice
  • 1979-1980 – Legal Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 1982 – Legal Consultant, Philippine Embassy, Washington, D.C.
  • 1981-1983 – Legal Consultant, University of the Philippines Law Center
  • 1983-1987 – Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 106, Quezon City
  • 1976-1988 – Professorial Lecturer, College of Law, University of the Philippines (evening class)
  • 1985-1988 – Opinion Columnist, “Overview,” Philippine Panorama Sunday magazine
  • 1985 – TOYM Award for Law
  • 1986 – TOWNS Award for Law
  •  1988-1989
    • Board of Directors: Ninoy Aquino National Airport, Philippine Retirement Authority, Public Estates Authority
    • Commissioner of Immigration and Deportation
  • 1988
    • Most Outstanding Alumna in Law, University of the Philippines
    • Magsaysay Award for Government Service
    • Gold Vision Triangle Award for government service, YMCA
    • Republic Anniversary Award for law enforcement,  Civic Assembly of Women of the Philippines
  • 1989
    • Secretary of Agrarian Reform
    • Board of Directors: Landbank
  • 1990 – present – Chair and founder, Movement for Responsible Public Service
  • 1990 – Golden Jubilee Achievement Award for public service, Girl Scouts of the Philippines
  • 1991 – Celebrity Mother Award, Gintong Ina Awards Foundation
  • 1992 – Presidential Candidate (Video)
  • 1992-present – Senior Partner, Defensor Santiago Law Firm
  • 1994 – Opinion Columnist, “Gadfly,” Today newspaper
  • 1995-present – Senator, Republic of the Philippines
    • Chair, Committee on Foreign Relations
    • Chair, Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes
    • Chair, Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Automated Election System
    • Chair, Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Overseas Absentee Voting Act
    • Chair, Commission on Appointments, Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Chair, Legislative Oversight Committee on the Visiting Forces Agreement
    • Chair, Committee on Economic Affairs
    • Chair, Special Oversight Committee on Economic Affairs
  • 1996 – “The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World,” The Australian magazine
  • 2008 – “Order of Civil Merit,” Kingdom of Spain
  • 2010 – Google Top 20 Most Influential Filipinas

Political Allegiances (Through The Years):

  • (Note: The simplest way to do this was to look at their track record and party. Allegiances are therefore defined as association during election campaigns and possible endorsements/comments about other political figures (e.g. if they ran under the same party/ticket) as always this is not a definitive list but one that is added over time and please feel free to comment for noteable additions) 
  • 1992 – Miriam’s running mate was Ramon Magsaysay Junior.
  • 2004 – Miriam runs under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo multi-party ticket, K4 (SWS)
    • Others in K4 include: Bong Revilla, Pia Cayetano, Mar Roxas, Dick Gordon, Lito Lapid, Miriam Santiago
  • 2010 – Runs as guest candidate under Erap and Binay’s PMP and also the Nacionalista Party (Code NGO)
    • Notable candidates on the same slate (both Nacionalista and PMP) include: Jinggoy Estrada, Enrile, Bong Revilla, Bong Bong Marcos, Susan Ople and Pia Cayetano

Controversies and Responses Connected to Track Record/Background:

  • Name Associated in PDAF/Napoles scandal (GMA)
    • Response:
      • Questions Napoles credibility (Inquirer) Note: In other articles says Luy’s list more credible
      • “She said her archenemy, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, was behind the report of the Daily Tribune, which she called an “obscure opposition newspaper.” (Rappler)

Election and Party-related Controversies/Issues and Responses:

  • Critic’s asked for her medical records to be released. According to the write,r complete remission of her stage of cancer is nothing short of a miracle and is improbable. The writer added without clear knowledge about her health we are essentially being told to trust Bong Bong Marcos as president if she becomes ill because she has endorsed him. (Rappler)
    • Response: “No, because that is my right to privacy. Now if she wants to, she can go to St Luke’s Global [City in Taguig] and she can formally ask them in writing, then St. Luke’s will follow their protocol and abide by it,” (Rappler) (Note: added expanded quote due to confusion mentioned in comments section)
    • Citizen Response: You are a public official. Release only the documents related to your illness (Rappler)
      • I quote: “For the sake of public information and a deeper understanding of patient rights, I need to point out that limited and voluntary releases of confidentiality are requested all the time and happen all the time. When we ask our doctors to give ourselves or our children “excuse slips” from work or school, this is only done upon our express consent.”
    • Response: unknown
  • Chooses Bong Bong Marcos as a running mate. (Rappler)
    • Response: “It’s not my function to defend [Bongbong Marcos]. He should defend himself…” further quoted, “He is trying to redeem himself. Let’s give him a chance. If he’s guilty, let us take proper steps to ensure he’s punished,” (Rappler)
      • On the possibility of running mate covering up Marcos crimes: “That’s possible. In fact, the voting might show that it is likely. But unless I see prima facie evidence, I cannot be guided by thoughts that are negative against a fellow man. We cannot punish someone on the basis of suspicion. I can’t support that as a lawyer.” (Speech with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries)
      • “If I’m elected president and something happens to me, we want someone young and idealistic to replace me,” – implying Marcos would be in Charge (February 9 – Rappler)

Platform and Key Policies:

Focus: Strengthening Political Institutions and Infrastructure (*unconfirmed – I have found it difficult to find a unified message behind her platform)

  • Agriculture
    • unknown
  • Bangsamoro Basic Law
    • “The Bangsamoro has much merit, but its promulgation requires constitutional amendment or revision; mere legislation will not suffice, and will spark Supreme Court litigation,” (Rappler)
  • West Philippine Sea
    • Philippine Star (2011):
      • “The claim should be continuous and uninterrupted. You should always enforce your claim,”
      • “I am sure China will not allow this. (The issue) will never reach the ICJ. In other words, it will never have a judicial settlement,”
  • RH Law
    • “The feisty senator is a champion of the Reproductive Health law. She sponsored the measure that provides contraceptives and other reproductive health devices and services to the poor.” (Rappler)
  • Freedom of Information Bill
  • Anti-Corruption
    • Adamantly against pork barrel
    • “Santiago said public officials in the Philippines engage in corruption because “our anti-corruption laws so far, in most cases, are not actually implemented, and those who are guilty are not punished as they deserve.”” (Rappler)
    • “For her, the country will see less corruption if only citizens will elect more female lawmakers. She maintained that according to research, a lawmaker’s gender “has a distinct impact on policy priorities” which “makes it critical that women are present in politics to represent the concerns of women and other marginalized sectors.”” (Rappler)
    • Declared in her proclaimation speech on Feb 9 – “I tell you this, once I become president of this country, all the people who stole the pork barrel amounting to billions of Philippine pesos shall be sent promptly to brand new jails.” (Rappler Full Text of Speech)


  • Environment/Climate Change:


  • Tax Reform
  • Infrastructure Investment (Speech with Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries)
    • “The Philippine government should set aside at least 5% of its resources for public infrastructure for it to catch up with its ASEAN-5 neighbors and to sustain strong growth. Its poor public infrastructure is a major constraint to growth.Among the major projects are the following:
      • A modern, international airport
      • An entirely new railway system from Manila to Sorsogon
      • A modern, integrated urban transit system in Metro Manila with lines reaching urban communities in Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna
      • One mixed-use government center (with adjacent residential, commercial, and entertainment facilities) in the National Capital Region
      • One mixed-use government center (with adjacent residential, commercial and entertainment facilities) in each of the 17 regions.
      • One major project per region for the 17 regions
      • One major project per province (81 provinces)”

Response to Various Issues:

    • Response: Wanted probe. “Wrongly accusing OFWs of a crime and forcing them to pay huge amounts of cash is not the way to repay those whom we call our modern-day heroes,” (Official Miriam Website)
  • INC
    • “There is a message behind the INC event… If you are a politician and you don’t get it, you are a fool,” (Inquirer)

What they say about other candidates:

  • Roxas
    • When considering the issues of other candidates (with graft and citizenship): Only [former] Sec. Mar Roxas and I would remain,” (Inquirer) Note: Duterte had not filed yet for substitution
  • Duterte:
    • “Well, let us see. He is taking a gamble. Normally, you’d sanitize your language if you are going to appear before the public. But in this case, he is attracting public attention. Some are scandalized. Some are considering it’s just part of normal reality. This is a revelation of his personality. Not everybody talks like that,” (ABS-CBN)
    • Miriam tells people to let the evidence speak and not “hyperbole” – calling Mayor Duterte her “bestfriend: “Si Mayor Duterte halos magkamukha lang kami, kaya kami matalik na magkaibigan kasi sometimes we descend to the level of hyperbole. ‘Yun bang sinosobrahan mo ang sinasabi mo para mas epektibo, mas nakaka-catch ng attention ng mga nakikinig pero ‘di naman literally true,” (Rappler December 14 – before Mar-Duterte word war)
      • Further more, “I think itong mga accusations of a death squad, other terrorist actuations, dapat kung may reklamo sila, noon pa. Noon pa ‘yun eh. Storya na ‘yun noon pa, baka 10 taon na. Kaya bakit ‘di nila pinag-file-an ng mga ganoong kaso?”

Standing in Polls:

  • February 15, 2016 – Placed in 4th behind Roxas with 4%. (Philstar)
  • December 7 – November SWS poll (privately funded by a Davao business man) puts her behind all candidates at 4%. (Inquirer)

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2 thoughts on “Intelligence Report – Election Watch 2016 – Miriam Defensor Santiago

    1. I’ll make the clarification in the next update! Actually in the same reply from rappler I believe the writer said St Luke’s would never give the info. I’ll double check and update!

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