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Lawyer declares himself President

Lawyer declares himself President

A Filipino lawyer has gatecrashed a conference to declare himself as the head of an area of the Philippines.Self-described "international lawyer" Ely Pamatong entered a hotel where Filipino…

A Filipino lawyer has gatecrashed a conference to declare himself as the head of an area of the Philippines.

Self-described "international lawyer" Ely Pamatong entered a hotel where Filipino President Benigno Aquino ΙΙΙ was due to speak at a conference last week (16 March).

Pamatong, known as much for his outrageous dress sense (he was wearing a fetching red sarong) as for his ability to garner publicity for himself, was quietly asked to leave shortly after entering.

According to Davao News, Pamatong said he wanted to distribute pamphlets in his advocacy for a separate state for Mindanao, the second largest island region in the Philippines, which has a significant Muslim presence in a country that is largely Christian.

Despite rebel groups on the island being engaged in a campaign for independence, Pamatong, who does not hold any type of official political post, declared himself as its President.

Pamatong previously ran for the Filipino presidency in 2004, but was declared a nuisance candidate. He has since commenced legal action against the Catholic Church on the grounds that its loud speakers disturbed the peace; attempted to impeach former President Gloria Arroyo; and then had another shot at the presidency in 2009, telling reporters: "I might not be a billionaire but I have brains. I scored 92 per cent in the American Bar Exams, was an undefeated debater and you call me a nuisance?"

Folklaw hopes that Pamatong realises that "having brains" and being the leader of a country are not necessarily related.

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