In case you missed it: Late Sen. Miriam fondly remembered on 72nd birthday

Image from Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago's Facebook page
  • Family members, friends, and supporters marked late senator’s 72nd birthday today
  • Heart Evangelista-Escudero also penned touching poem for ‘second mom’

MANILA, Philippines  –  She would have turned 72 today.

In a fitting tribute to the feisty lawmaker, family members, friends, and supporters of the late senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago held a Mass to commemorate her 72nd birth anniversary at Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina Thursday morning.

Those who remembered her birthday also expressed their sadness on social media at the senator’s passing  and described her as the “best president the country never had”.

In his Facebook account, Sen. Sonny Angara said Santiago had been a larger-than-life figure among her fellow lawmakers and Filipinos.

“Remembering Sen Miriam Defensor Santiago today on her 72nd birth anniversary. Her undisputed tenacity and fierceness taught us all that justice is worth fighting tooth and nail for- it was my privilege to call her my colleague, even as she acted like everyone’s mentor in wit and knowledge of the law,” he said.

On her Instagram account, Heart Evangelista-Escudero also penned a heartfelt letter to the woman she regarded as a friend and second mother:

“Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I’ll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands,
Honored to love you
Happy birthday to my guardian angel…
I love you to the moon and back!”

Santiago passed away on September 29, 2016 after a long-running bout with lung cancer. She had run and lost three times in the presidential elections.

A legal juggernaut heavily respected and feared by friends and foes, Santiago also enjoyed a strong following among the youth for her remarkable witticism and down-to-earth demeanor.