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Duterte pays final respects to Miriam

President Rodrigo R.Duterte Our Deepest Symphathy shakehands with Atty; Narciso Santiago(left) husband late Sen, Meriam Defensor Santiago upon arrival(Oct 02) at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral,in Cubao Quezon City.(Malacanang Photo/MARCELINO PASCUAPresident Duterte paid his final respects to the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Quezon City before her interment in Marikina City yesterday.

The Chief Executive arrived past 1 a.m. and stayed for more than an hour.

Duterte extended his condolences to Miriam’s husband, Atty. Narciso Santiago, and relatives.

In a statement released following the death of Miriam, the President expressed his deepest condolences and expressed hope that her legacy would “continue to guide this nation.”

“Sen. Santiago has left a sterling career in public office. She is best remembered as a graft buster “eating death threats for breakfast,” earning her the “Iron Lady of Asia.” A constitutionalist, she has always been an advocate for the rule of law,” Duterte said.

“Rest in peace, Madam Senator. May your legacy continue to guide this nation for many years to come,” he added.

During the campaign for the May 2016 presidential elections, the public witnessed the mutual admiration between Duterte and Miriam, especially during the presidential debate. It was Miriam’s third attempt in the presidential race.

Supporters, colleagues, and relatives aired nothing but admiration for Miriam as they bade farewell to the feisty but whimsical lawmaker.

Despite the grief, cheers and applause echoed at the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Cubao, Quezon City during the funeral mass for the former senator before her interment at the Loyola Memorial Park.

Church goers chanted “Miriam! Miriam!” as they clapped and stood to honor her at the end of the mass.

Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, Immaculate Concepcion parish priest Fr. Aris Sison, and Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani presided over the mass.

In his homily, Bacani called Miriam a “princess for hearts of the Filipinos.”

Bacani consoled Miriam’s husband Narciso “Jun” Santiago who lamented that she was under appreciated and tributes for her shouls have been given when she was still alive. (Elena L. Aben)