Friday, May 24, 2013

Only in the Philippines: Child Rape Suspect Re-Elected Mayor

Here's an article from an Australian newspaper on the success of the dynasties in the recent Philippine elections, which I've commented on here and here.

There are a couple things mentioned by The Age that I haven't heard before, but which (unfortunately) don't shock me:
Records show that 160 families have continuously served in both houses of the Philippine parliament since 1907.
The Singsons, the oldest political clan whose members have held power since 1823, won nine elective posts. One of the winners was Ronald Singson, who three years ago was sentenced to 14 months in jail in Hong Kong for cocaine possession. He regained the lower house seat he had vacated after the conviction.
The impunity of leading Filipino politicians is the subject of another point that I have to admit did shock me. Cynical as I am about Philippine politics, apparently I'm not cynical enough:
Jose Rodriguez was unopposed as mayor of San Marcelino, north-west of Manila, although he is on trial for the alleged rape of a 12 year-old girl in 2010. He denies the charge.
Holy crap! I understand about 'innocent until proven guilty' -- but that's a legal rule, not political. I would have thought that, anywhere in the world, being charged with raping a child would be considered a disqualifier for any office. But apparently it's considered no impediment here.

Update: How could I forget the Ampatuan Dynasty? Despite apparent involvement in the mass murder of fifty-eight political opponents and reporters. they won nineteen seats, including three mayoral posts.

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