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Quezon City roads to be renamed after Miriam Santiago

THE bill seeking to rename Agham Road and BIR Road in Quezon City after the late former senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has lapsed into law without President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s signature, Malacañang said Saturday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the President “allowed” Republic Act (RA) 11963 to lapse into law on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023.

“RA 11963, which is titled, an 'Act Renaming the Agham Road and the BIR Road, Stretching from North Avenue, Traversing Through Quezon Avenue, Up to East Avenue, All Located in Quezon City, As Senator Miriam P. Defensor-Santiago Avenue,' became law without the President's signature in accordance with the Article VI, Section 27 of the Constitution,” Garafil said in a statement.

Filipino youth and follower is seen around the area of burial of Former Senator Meriam Defensor Santiago at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Cubao, Quezon City on 30 September 2016. Photo By Dj Diosina

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) “shall issue the necessary rules, orders and circulars to implement the provisions of this Act within 60 days from its effectivity,” the new law read.

RA 11963 was passed by the House of Representative and the Senate on March 21, 2023, and Aug. 14, 2023, respectively.

The new law takes effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

Defensor-Santiago, dubbed as “The Iron Lady of Asia,” died at the age of 71 on Sept. 29, 2016 from complications of lung cancer. She was known for her legal expertise, wit, and feisty demeanor.

She held various positions in government, most notably as a multi-term senator.

After serving as a regional trial court judge, Immigration commissioner and then as secretary of Agrarian Reform, Defensor-Santiago ran for president but lost in the 1992 race. She ran and lost again in the 1998 presidential polls.

She served as senator from 1995 to 2001, and then from 2004 to 2016.

Claiming that she has licked cancer, she threw her hat in the 2016 presidential race, but lost to then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

She made history in 2012 when she took her seat as a judge of the International Criminal Court — becoming the first Southeast Asian in the ICC.

Defensor-Santiago also received the Magsaysay Award for Government Service, known as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, in 1988, for her “bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.” The said award recognizes individuals and organizations in Asia, regardless of race, gender, or religion, for their achievements and contributions in public and government service, journalism, and creative communication arts to address and find solutions for various issues of human development.

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