MANILA — The Philippines is all set to elect its first transgender person to public office in a breakthrough for the predominantly Catholic country’s LGBT community.
The 49-year-old comes from the politically powerful Roman family, who are popular among low-income earners in the area.
Geraldine Roman, who has been living as a lady for over two decades, is set to win the congressional seat in Bataan previously held by her mother, Herminia Roman.
With 97.2 per cent of national election returns processed, Ms Roman had secured a win with 23,814 votes over her opponent’s 10,325.
Ms Roman’s mother had planned to run for vice governorship before supporting her daughter’s campaign, telling local press her decision was because of the Catholic Church’s “unsupportive stance on transgender sexuality”.
The Philippines is ranked as one of the most LGBT-friendly countries in Asia, however the community remains a minority and often faces discrimination.
Mr Roman’s planned policies include providing modern equipment for public hospitals, expanding the province’s road network, and backing an anti-discrimination bill that would give the LGBT community improved rights.
According to the Pew Research Centre 81 per cent of Filipinos identify as Catholic.
Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded
BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.
The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.
Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.
Transportation has also been halted.
Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.
Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.
The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.
Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.
Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.Follow @gorkhapost