On the CBCP suspending its talks with the Palace on the RH Bill- Transcript 22 February 2011

On the CBCP suspending its talks with the Palace on the RH Bill

It only means that the CBCP considers that it has already done all it can to defeat the RH bill and it has seen what the limits of the powers of the president are because the president of course does not dictate to a co-equal branch of government. It also indicates that CBCP is very committed against the RH bill so we shall see whether here religion will be a factor in the passage of a bill considered urgent for the ultimate development of the country. The problem is that this bill not only involves the constitutional right to privacy, it also includes the constitutional right to a progressive economy. So we shall see in this development whether the political branches of government will be sufficiently aware of potential voting power of the CBCP. In other words, it might be a test case. We’ll see if the politicians will be so wary of confronting the Catholic church in the light of the next elections or their own reelections that they will step backwards and completely ignore the prodding of the advocates of the RH bill. Therefore, we will in effect gauge the political power of the Catholic church in this country.

Continue reading

Miriam: The China-Taiwan problem will expose Filipinos to the stark realities and brutal facts of Philippine politics (21 Feb 2011 interview transcript)

On Sen. Escudero’s proposal of a prisoner exchange agreement between the Philippines and China

It has to be a mutual decision between the Philippines and country that we wish to extend those relations with, so we cannot propose it unilaterally. The China-Taiwan problem will expose Filipinos to the brutal fact of Philippine politics. It does not involve international law. It involves the stark reality and brutal facts of Philippine politics. China has already suspended the execution of the three Filipinos, but notice the language “shall be suspended from execution within the scope of Chinese law.” What is the meaning of within the scope of Chinese law since you are not familiar with Chinese law? In effect, it means whenever the Chinese government thinks the Philippines is sincere with its bilateral agreement with the Chinese government, meaning the promotion of the mutual interest of the two countries. In other words, pakita mo naman na may gusto ka sa akin. Halimbawa, lagi ka na lang nililigawan ng Amerika, kilig na kilig ka naman. Sinabi na ng Senado sa presidente “Pwede ba let’s rescind the Visiting Forces Agreement?” So expect, for example, that the executive branch, which is our only spokesperson abroad, will enter into negotiations with the Chinese over the suspended execution on the grounds, for example, the president will send to the Senate a message that he has now initiated the process of revoking the VFA pursuant to the resolution of the Senate. That would be one point of discussion with the Chinese.

Continue reading

On the Necessity of Charter Change – Transcript of interview – 17 February 2011


On the Senate committee on constitutional amendments hearing on the necessity of Charter change

Palagi na lang sinasabi na magkaroon tayo ng Cha-cha, pero wala namang katuturan iyon e kasi una, hindi nila naiintindihan kung ano ang ibig sabihin ng constitutional law, at, pangalawa, may political agenda, may mga motibo silang pampulitika tungkol sa charter change. Pero ngayon, ang dating chief justice ng supreme court, na wala naman sa pulitika, ay nagmumungkahi na palitan na ang konstitusyon, kaya yan ang dahilan kung bakit ang senate committee on constitutional amendments ay nag-umpisa ng mga hearing, at minabuti namin na makinig muna sa mga talagang marurunong na tao. Sila na siguro ang pinakamarunong na dalubhasa sa constitution at wala sila sa pulitika: itong dating Chief Justice puno, dating Chief Justice Florentino Feliciano–sa abroad, iginagalang iyang si Justice Feliciano, dito lang sa ating bayan hindi siya kilala. Tapos si Justice Mendoza , si dating UP President Dr. Jose Abueva,  si Dean Merlin Magallona ng UP College of Law, at si Prof. Rodolfo Azcuna na naging kasapi ng dalawang constitutional commissions. Ngayon makikita niyo itong mga dalubhasa mukhang gusto talaga nilang palitan ang ating Saligang Batas, at karamihan sila gusto ng parliamentary form of government.

Ngayon meron isang siguro siya na ang pinakamarunong at matalino sa lahat dahil siya na rin ang pinakamatanda sa kanilang lahat, sabi niya huwag tayong magmadali na buksan natin ang exploitation of natural resources o ang paggamit ng ating likas na yaman na ibigay natin sa dayuhan sa paniniwala natin na magkakaroon tayo ng kapital, huwag tayong magmadali diyan sabi niya. Kaya he is warning us about the desire to subordinate our national interest for the sake of getting the dollars from foreign investors.

Continue reading

Discussing the Necessity of Charter Change: Introducing the Experts

Here are the profiles of the constitutional experts who will lecture at the inaugural hearing of the Senate committee on constitutional amendments on “The Necessity of Charter Change.”

The hearing will be held this Thursday, 17 February 2011, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Senate session hall and will be presided by Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.


Photo from Wikipedia.org


Law degree: University of the Philippines, 1962

Educational achievements: Doctor of Juridical Science (finished all academic requirements), University of Illinois, Champaign, Urbana, USA, 1969; Master of Laws, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA, 1968; Master of Comparative Laws (valedictorian), Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA, 1967


  • UP’s Most Outstanding Law Alumnus, 1997
  • Outstanding Alumnus, UP Law, 1996
  • Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in Law, 1977
  • Recipient, American Jurisprudence Prizes for excellence in Comparative Private International Law, U.S. Constitutional Structures, International Organization and Problems in Doing Business Abroad, given by the Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Co., New York and the Bancroft Whitney Publishing, Inc., 1966 to 1967

Former positions:

  • SC Chief Justice – 8 December 2006 to 17 May 2010
  • Special Lecturer on Constitutional Law, Philippine Judicial Academy

Present positions:

  • Resident Eminent Scholar, UP Law Center
  • Member, UP Board of Regents

Continue reading

Miriam’s Valentines Day advice to the youth

It is very important that you should choose the person you will marry and stay with that person. There are many people now who believe in serial love, loving one person after another. I don’t think that is good for our mental health. I think we should get it over with. Love is like measles, you know. You only get it once in your lifetime and you are immune forever. I am very happy to say that is what happened to me. I am completely immune to any temptation. All men who have passed my life after I got married might as well have been sticks of furniture.

Letter of invitation for the Senate hearing on Charter Change

clip_image002­­­Republic of the Philippines

Senate, Pasay City

Committee on Constitutional Amendments,

Revision of Codes and Laws

Chair: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago; Vice-Chair: Sen. Edgardo J. Angara; Members: Senators Manny Villar, Lito Lapid, Panfilo Lacson,

Francis Pangilinan, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Antonio Trillanes IV, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and Alan Peter Cayetano;

Ex-Officio Members: Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Vicente Sotto III


14 February 2011

This is to respectfully invite you to the inaugural hearing on “The Necessity of Charter Change” sponsored by the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, on Thursday, 17 February 2011, at 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, at the Senate Session Hall.

The inaugural hearing will consist of a series of lectures by eminent experts. So far, the following experts have confirmed their participation: Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Justice Florentino P. Feliciano, Justice Vicente V. Mendoza, Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna, Dean Merlin Magallona, and Dr. Jose V. Abueva.

The committee has also invited Metro Manila student leaders to attend the hearing. Please come.

Sincerely yours,