Firebrand Filipino senator heats up virtual world, too

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Love her or hate her, Philippine Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has invaded the virtual world.

She is now a trending topic on the Internet, and the rise of her temper seems to reflect a rise in the number of her followers on the two top social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter.

Agog over Santiago's famous temper, the "netizens"-bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users-are looking forward to the resumption on Monday of the impeachment trial of Philippine Chief Justice Renato Corona after an 11-day break.

Like a widely watched telenovela (soap opera), the trial begins its Season 2 as it were, with the defense panel's turn to present its rebuttal following the prosecution's sudden decision to rest its case.

As of Sunday afternoon, Santiago's Twitter followers have reached 132,663, while her Facebook fans have generated 102,000 "friends."

The highly charged hearing on February 29-during which lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre incurred the ire of the feisty senator for covering his ears while she was lambasting the prosecution's handling of the case-went exactly like a cliffhanger season-ender. The audience lapped it all up.

What the public witnessed that day was courtroom drama. Aguirre-the defence lawyer for the family of former Senator Freddie Webb in the Vizconde massacre trial-later apologised, missing a jail term for his behaviour.

The Santiago-Aguirre squabble has launched a thousand Facebook posts, tweets, blogs and memes. Some of the comments were funny, others downright mean and some may be considered propaganda.

Santiago is not a stranger to attack and praise. Every time she opens her mouth, she earns for herself fans or critics.

She did invite criticisms when she used the word gago (fool) to describe the prosecution's supposed ineptness. She readily acceded to the motion of a House prosecutor, Ilocos Norte Representative Rodolfo Fariñas, to have the word stricken from the record.

In the virtual world, Santiago generates as much heat. Online, her followers and friends-who call themselves as "Team Miriam"-are a force to reckon with.

Her followers and critics are a mixed group of celebrities, students, professionals, pundits, social activists, journalists, wannabe pick-up artists and possible spambots riding on Santiago's popularity.

Below are some interesting tweets from them:

@iceburner80: why are we making atty aguirre look like a hero? what he did was wrong period, @senmiriam may be over the top but evrythng she said ws ryt.

@arianelo41: I followed Sen. Miriam on Twitter and since then, my nose just keeps on bleeding ... XD

@borgymagdangal: In fairness, I love Miriam Santiago. But I agree with Ping (Sen. Panfilo Lacson) that her behaviour toward the prosecution team was excessive and wrong.

@KrislyKreme: Everytime I remember Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago saying "WAH!", I can't help but laugh. =)))

@Peepops_Mom: "Gago" and "epal" are so NOT plastic words that we commonly use. So what's the big fuss if the fiery Sen. Miriam used it (even in public)?!

@Kikaykcnrs: Judge not that you will shall not be judged.

@zedrix118: Sen Miriam berates the prosecution, and right away a Jesuit priest decides that she is worthy of the fires of hell? How @#$%&*)!!!

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile
    Miriam bucks house arrest for Enrile

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago believes granting Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile house arrest, while former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo remains under hospital detention, will violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. “That’s already a violation of the equal protection of the law,” she said. …

  • 8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study
    8 of 10 cities most at risk from natural disasters located in Phl – study

    Eight of 10 world cities most exposed to natural hazards are in the Philippines and more than half of the 100 cities most exposed to earthquakes, storms and other disasters are in four Asian nations, according to a research. The study, published on Wednesday by risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft, analyzed the threat posed by storms, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, volcanoes and landslides in more than 1,300 cities. The study found that the 10 cities most at risk are Port Vila in …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • UNA hits PNP selection process
    UNA hits PNP selection process

    The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) hit yesterday the apparent machinations in the selection of the new Philippine National Police (PNP) chief. Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president, said the administration and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) are perpetuating the bata-bata or patronage system in the selection process of the police chief. “They will start this by maneuvering the appointment of Gen. Garbo as PNP chief,” said Tiangco, referring to one of the top contenders for PNP …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options