19 March 2012

The Wah of Miriam Defensor Santiago


Hate or love her, God the Supreme creator must have broken the mold after she created Miriam. The Senator from Iloilo is probably the only Filipino Senator who has made the word Wah part of the official record of the Senate, prompting another Senator to ask what the spelling of Wah was. But then this is Miriam Defensor Santiago whose career in public life seems to be punctuated by verbal barrages that hit its marks and a temper that would shake and reverberate in the halls of Hell and in the Pearly Mansions of Heaven.

During her stint as the Secretary of Immigration she confronted pedophile and said,” Sir, I represent the majesty of the Republic of the Philippines. Now shut up or I’ll bash your teeth in!

Reacting to a privilege speech of a congressman condemning a raid conducted in his district. Santiago called him Fungus Face and told him to stick his finger into a light socket.

Around this time she also said her more famous quip, when asked by a member of the media if she was sent death threats she answered,“I eat death threats for breakfast” and said, “Death is only a state of thermodynamic equilibrium!”

There are times when the sound bytes can be funny, irritating and funny-irritating depending on where you stand on a certain issue. During the Estrada Impeachment Miriam said, “I will jump headfirst from a helicopter in Luneta if Estrada gets removed from power.

Estrada was ousted and when asked about her promise she said,” I lied” and it was followed immediately by a laugh delivered with panache and gusto.

And as late the Impeachment of Chief Justice Corona has had its equal share of colorful quips from the Senator from Iloilo. The latest and most colorful; involved using gago and Wah as terms to describe her reaction to the impeachment interruptus of the Prosecution Panel when they decided to drop more than half of complaints against the accused. The term Gago was removed from the official records but Wahl remained. This verbal scrubbing, one of many the litigators had to content with on a daily basis, lead to the latest scuffle involving a private prosecutor and Miriam. The Private Prosecutor has been cited for contempt.

The already polarized on-line community reacted to this along party lines with the usual twitter tussle, riposte and couter-ripostte.

But then that is the Wah of Miriam. Verbose verbal Barrages accompanied by a rage of shock and awe. This marks in contrast of course in style to the two other prominent characters of Impeachment the Stoic Enrile and the Sanguine Cuevas. Miriam’s style had and had taken its toll, her health suffers from it to the pint that she has to go home twice during the impeachment but she still returns. Miriam has always been a person of character – despite her abrasiveness and outspokenness she still manages to survive in public life. The people keep on voting her back to office and people await what would she be doing during the Impeachment.

To some of us she is the voice that will call a spade a dirty crooked fungus faced digging tool. To some other people will she will one of enemies? To others a source of information. To others a source of entertainment. And who knows what the other people think.

A few things are clear though. One it is not enjoyable to be the target of Miriam’s verbal ballista and her temper like Greek Fire, which does not Two, Do the intended targets deserved to be shot at? And three, Philippine politics would be a less interesting place without Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Winston Churchill was asked and asnswered, “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

I wonder what Miriam would say when she meets her Maker

And that my friends, Miriam and her Tao of Wah!



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