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In 1965, Santiago graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines Visayas. It took her only three and a half years including summer school to complete her degree. She earned a Bachelor of Laws degree, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines College of Law in Diliman. Santiago pursued higher learning, earned an LL.M. after only 6 months instead of 2 years and an S.J.D. after only 1 year instead of 2 years from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with flying colors. She also attended postdoctoral courses at various prestigious international universities.
Considered as the most intelligent Senator the Philippines has ever produced, Santiago aims for the “promotion of entrepreneurship allowing disposal of unused public lands to deserving persons for use by them as collateral for bank loans; and provision of more jobs to the unemployed population by helping small and medium sized entrepreneurs establish their businesses.”
Santiago aspires to continue strengthening the following: “criminal laws by providing for punishment of crimes committed through the use of modem technology and stiffer penalties for gambling; the prohibition against entry of illegal drugs; the regulation of use of firearms and motor vehicles; and the fight against terrorism.”
She is the first Filipino and first Asian from a developing country to sit in the International Criminal Court that tries cases of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.