Santiago is the first Filipino and the first Asian from a developing state to serve as ICC judge, thus earning a place of honor for the Philippines in ICC history.
Together with five other new judges, Santiago will take her oath of office this March, but will not immediately assume her post in The Hague, Netherlands, until the ICC calls her to report for duty.
Thus, it is likely that Santiago will remain as a senator in the next six months or even longer, depending on when she is called to The Hague.
The senator said she expects to play an active role as a trial judge in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Renato Corona, and to urge her fellow senators to pass the Reproductive Health bill, of which she is the author and co-sponsor.
“This is a victory for the Philippines in the international legal community. The tribute belongs to President Benigno Aquino, who nominated me; foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario, who maximized his unerring generalship over all Philippine posts abroad; foreign affairs undersecretary Rafael Seguis, who was the campaign manager; and most of all to Ambassador Libran Cabactulan, the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, who was the model diplomat in networking with the UN ambassadors. All members of the Philippine mission (embassy) in New York did splendid field work,” she said.
Santiago placed No. 1 in the first round of voting, followed by a candidate from Trinidad and Tobago.
At this writing, the second round and possibly other rounds still need to be conducted, in order to complete the number of six new judges.