Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, downed by chronic fatigue syndrome, still managed to file the highest number of bills and resolutions in the Senate.
Her nemesis, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile –with whom she has a running word war—filed the lowest number of bills and resolutions for the same period.
As of 19 December 2013, the Senate legislative bills and index service said that Santiago, a perennial topnotcher, filed 618 bills and resolutions, while Enrile filed only 16 such measures.
The top three senators are: Santiago, 618; Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, 543; and Sen. Antonio Trillanes, 249.
The lowest three senators are: Enrile, 16; Sen. Vicente Sotto, 30; and Sen. Pres. Franklin Drilon, 31.
The official score released by the Senate shows that the bedridden Santiago continued to work hard in her home office. She has also made forays to the Senate, notably when she interpellated Janet Napoles, one of the alleged masterminds of the pork barrel scam.
As chair of the foreign affairs committee of the Commission on Appointments, she also appeared in the Senate to personally preside over the confirmation of the biggest batch of ambassadors this year.
When Senate media asked her to comment on plunder charges filed against three senators led by Enrile, she went viral when she quipped: “Eat, ___, and die”
Chronic fatigue syndrome has caused Santiago to lose her sense of balance, and although she has continued her extraordinary speaking tour of Metro Manila universities, she chronically obviously suffers from shortness of breath.
As the first Filipino to be elected judge of the International Criminal Court, Santiago was due to resign from the Senate this year, and transfer residence to The Hague, Netherlands. But her plans are on hold, while she continues to struggle against chronic fatigue syndrome, which has no known cause, and no known cure.
Senate observers have noted that Santiago usually files the highest number of measures every year, and in addition conducts the highest number of interpellations during plenary sessions.
In other words, Santiago is one of the hardest workers in the Senate. The question is whether her fame as a flamboyant workaholic will continue to prevail over her stubborn and rare illness.
Sixteenth Congress, as of 19 December 2013