Miriam Defensor Santiago
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

It is easy to dislike Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, but whenever she spews out offensive words, she always makes my day.

Recently, the supposedly honorable lady lawmaker did it again. In a manner that was certainly rude, she called her detractors “mongoloids.” She did not name names, but obviously she was referring to some of her fellow senators and Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliantes, who have asked her to quit her senatorial post.

The reason for the call for her to resign is certainly not asinine. In fact, it appears to be valid. Yet Miriam went ballistic, barking, “Stop molesting me, you mongoloids.”

In December last year, she was appointed judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which is based in The Hague. Well and good. It was an honor not only for Miriam but also for all Filipinos.

The trouble is that with her appointment, the operation of the Senate as a legislative body is adversely affected.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile elucidated on this problem. He said, “I hope she realizes the country needs a full number of senators to deal with national problems when she is gone.”

Enrile did not ask Miriam to quit her senatorial post, but he cited the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona as a case in point. The Senate has only 23 senators, and “a vacancy was automatically a vote in favor of the impeached official.”

“When dealing with treaties, the vacancy is immediately a minus for the required vote to ratify the treaty,” he pointed out. “There are many constitutional issues when dealing with numbers that would require the presence of all senators.”

Asked by a reporter if Miriam should resign, Enrile said, “It’s up to her. I’m not saying she should resign. I’ll leave it to her.”

The call for Miriam to make a decision on the matter was reiterated by Comelec Chairman Brilliantes.

The Comelec is now preparing for the next senatorial election, and if Miriam resigns her post, the Comelec would include the vacated position in the list of Senate seats to be filled up. So, instead of electing 12 senators, the voters would elect 13.

The explanations by both Enrile and Brilliantes are clear and valid enough, but the lady senator does not seem to understand them or refuses to understand them.  If you are constantly monitoring the Philippine political situation, Miriam’s questionable actuations are not unusual. In fact, she is in the habit of making condescending comments that denigrate whoever is the target of her remarks.

It is obvious that she is suffering from superiority complex, and this makes her believe that she has a superior intelligence.

There is no question she is really brilliant, but what I abhor is her rudeness whenever she opens her mouth on thorny issues. Civility is not among her virtues.

Her rude behavior was very much evident during the impeachment trial of then Chief Justice Renato Corona. At one time, referring to the congressmen-prosecutors, she said, “Nagdudunongan, pero mga …(censored) naman (They are acting as if they are knowledgeable, but in truth they are stupid).”

There were other instances in which Miriam uttered gutter words on the floor of the Senate, which is supposed to be an august body. And all the while, she had gotten away with it.

What is disturbing is that the young people seem to enjoy her gutter language. In fact, she has been going around Manila colleges, acting as a stand-up comedienne and regaling the students with comments degrading her political rivals.

The danger in this situation is that she is being looked up to by the youth as a role model.

I believe that the Philippine Senate is a lot better without Miriam. It would be a good riddance if she decides to go to The Hague to assume her post as ICC judge. And the people should no longer vote for her the next time she runs for public office.

Meanwhile, though, whenever she calls anybody “mongoloid,” she always makes my day.