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Philippines Elects First Transgender Politician

FILE - Geraldine Roman, a transgender congressional candidate, gestures at the crowd during a "Miting de Avance" (last political campaign rally) for the national election in Orani town, Bataan province, north of Manila, May 6, 2016.

Voters in the Philippines have elected the country's first transgender politician into office.

Geraldine Roman won the seat in the first district of northern Bataan province following Monday's election.

She will become the highest-ranking openly LGBT politician in the Philippines, a country where heavy influence from the Catholic Church restricts divorce, abortion and same-sex marriage.

Roman said her experience showed that the "politics of hatred, bigotry and discrimination did not prevail," adding that what triumphed was "acceptance, love and tolerance."

She says among the issues she will champion as a lawmaker will be bills focusing on anti-discrimination, education and government transparency.

Roman will take over the congressional seat from her mother who served three terms as a politician in the district.

Roman lived in Spain for several years before returning to the Philippines where she worked as an editor for a Spanish news agency before running for office.