Miriam Defensor-Santiago also seeks to be int’l legal adviser
Given the chance, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago would like to be both President of the country and international legal adviser at the same time even as she accepted an invitation by an intergovernmental organization based in Rome, Italy, to join its elite council of advisers.
Santiago will sit with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and five other global personalities in the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) Advisory Council, the only intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law.
IDLO is supported by multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, governments, private foundations and the private sector.
“If elected in May, and with the consent of IDLO, I expect to serve both as President of the Philippines and member of the International Advisory Council,” Santiago said.
In her invitation to the senator dated Dec. 21, IDLO Director General Irene Khan said its advisory council is composed of “individuals of international reputation for extraordinary leadership in addressing rule of law, justice and development issues.”
Besides Gates, the other council members are: former Ireland President Mary Robinson; former Senegal President Abdou Diouf; Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development chair Abdel-Latif al-Hamad; former justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa Albie Sachs; and former US Ambassador Thomas Pickering.
Pursuit of justice
“I am honored yet humbled to receive the invitation from IDLO. It challenges me to place my lifetime career as a lawyer and legislator in a larger frame of service for the pursuit of justice and international development,” Santiago said.
Santiago was supposed to sit as judge in the International Criminal Court, a permanent tribunal which has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
But she waived her post in 2013 due to chronic fatigue syndrome, which was later diagnosed as lung cancer in an advanced stage.
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