Miriam Defensor Santiago
Miriam Defensor Santiago (15 June 1945 — 29 September 2016) was a Senator in the Philippines. She was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in 2008, forcing her to take a leave of absence from the Senate. She complained of dizziness, nausea, and an irregular heartbeat prior to being diagnosed with CFS. During her political career she served as the presiding judge of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court; the immigration commissioner, agrarian reform secretary; and a senator for three terms or from 1995 to 2001 and 2004 to 2016. Santiago was the first Filipino to be elected as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, Netherlands, in 2011. She resigned her post in 2014 because of a relapse of chronic fatigue syndrome. During her resignation statement, she said: "Since I was elected in December 2011, I have secured neither alleviation nor treatment from the medical profession for my illness, known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.”
In 1998, she was honored with winning the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the Magsaysay Award for Government Service. She authored many books on law and social science.
While serving as a Senator she filed Senate Bill 3195, which tasked the Philippine Department of Health and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to carry out a national campaign to increase public awareness and knowledge of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Santiago died 29 September 2016 of lung cancer at the age of 71.
Republic of the Philippines Senate Bill 3195
Talks and interviews
- 2016, Obituary
- 2013, Get lots of sun, docs advise always-tired Senator Santiago
- 2009, Miriam: DOH must attend to chronic fatigue syndrome problem
- 2009, Santiago skips dinner with President Macapagal Arroyo which she attributed to her chronic fatigue syndrome condition, "which she jested, made her a cranky person in the late hours."