Iloilo town honors its most famous homegrown talent, Miriam Defensor-Santiago

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The local government of Mina, Iloilo has bestowed a posthumous award to the late Senator Miriam-Defensor Santiago for her outstanding achievements in the executive, legislative and judicial.

Santiago was recognized as among the outstanding achievers of her hometown during Sunday evening’s awards program, in line with the municipality’s 50th founding anniversary.

Third district board member Lorenz Defensor, Santiago’s nephew, received the award.

Lorenz is the son of Santiago’s first cousin, Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., who is also one of the awardees.

As the first Mayor of Mina town, Gov. Defensor received an award for Extra Ordinary Distinction in Lifetime Achievement in the Services to the People.

Santiago hailed from Mina, Iloilo. Born in 1945, she was the first daughter of Judge Benjamin Defensor and retired college dean Dimpna Defensor.

She had colorful political career as she was able to work in all three branches of the Philippine government–judicial, executive, and legislative. She served as senator from 1995 to 2001, and 2004 to 2016 and she also ran for the presidency but lost in May 2016.

Ilonggos mourned her death on Sept. 29, 2016 due to stage four lung cancer.

Held at the Mina Sports and Cultural Center, the awarding of the outstanding achievers as “Minanhons” was among the highlights of the town’s founding anniversary. Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III graced the event.

Other achievers recognized were those who excelled in the field of public service and law; education; health and medical profession; culture, arts and media industry; military and police service; business, entrepreneurship and agriculture; science, technology, commerce and accountancy; seafarers and aircraft pilot; religious; sports; and philanthropy and civil works.

In his speech, Mayor Rey Grabato stressed that the achievers brought pride and honor to the people of Mina and served as inspiration to future generations.

“We are recognizing them because they are big part of the history of what our town has become today,” he said.

Grabato encouraged more people in their town to strive hard to become successful. (PNA)