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This Woman Is The First Transgender Congressperson In The Philippines

Update: With 99% of precincts reporting, Bataan elects Geraldine Roman to a congressional seat, making her the first trans person in the Philippine House of Representatives.

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This is Geraldine Roman. She's running for public office in the Philippines. She's also the only out transgender candidate in this year's elections.

At 94.83% of the national election returns processed, she leads with over 102,000 votes.

GMA News / Via gmanetwork.com

Roman is running on a Liberal Party ticket and is gunning for the congressional seat in the province of Bataan previously held by her mother, Herminia Roman.

Roman has been a popular candidate, especially among low-income voters. Her planned policies include an expanded infrastructure and updated medical equipment at local hospitals in Bataan.

She also promised to take on the rigid gender identification laws in the Philippines.

Ted Aljibe / AFP / Getty Images

"I am living proof that such a law will allow transgender people to pursue happiness and become productive citizens," she told AFP.

As she campaigned, Roman positioned her election to the Philippine congress as "a statement that even transgender people can serve our country and should not be discriminated against."

Filipinos on social media are celebrating Roman's win, calling it a huge breakthrough in a country where transgender women face widespread discrimination and violence.

Facebook: permalink.php

And many are calling it "good news" as the exit polls show who will likely be taking the presidential, vice presidential, and senatorial seats in the nation.

facebook.com

In the lead for the presidential office is Rodrigo Duterte, a mayor from the city of Davao known as "the Punisher" for his tough stance on crime and lax attitude to extrajudicial killings. Recently, Duterte came under fire for a rape joke he made on his campaign trail.

And Bongbong Marcos is in the lead to become vice president. Marcos is the son of Ferdinand Marcos, who was the Philippine president from 1965 to 1986 and ruled as dictator under martial law from 1972 until 1981.

Roman will be serving a three-year term, the maximum in Congress, in the chamber of 300 seats.

Ted Aljibe / Via AFP / Getty Images

Roman speaks five languages, holds two master's degrees, and was a senior editor at the Spanish News Agency before returning to the Philippines from Spain in 2012 to care for her father.

UPDATE

With 99% of precincts reporting, Bataan elects Geraldine Roman to a congressional seat, making her the first trans person in the Philippine House of Representatives.

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