Ronald Singson

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Ronald Versoza Singson
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Sur's 1st district
Incumbent
Assumed office
June 30, 2013
Preceded by Ryan Singson
In office
June 30, 2007 – March 7, 2011[1]
Preceded by Salacnib Baterina
Succeeded by Ryan Singson
Personal details
Born (1968-11-18) November 18, 1968 (age 46)
Manila
Nationality Filipino
Political party Nacionalista (2010–)
Lakas-Kampi (2007–2010)
Relations Luis Singson (father)
Ryan Singson (brother)
Randy Singson (brother)
Residence Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Profession Businessman, concert producer

Ronald Versoza Singson (born November 18, 1968 in Manila) is a Filipino politician, businessman and concert producer. A son of the patriarch of the Singson political clan Chavit Singson, he served as representative of Ilocos Sur's first district from 2007 to 2010, when he resigned after being convicted for 18 months for drug possession by the Wan Chai District Court in Hong Kong.

Career[edit]

Singson was elected as representative of Ilocos Sur's first district on the 2007 election, succeeding Salacnib Baterina who was term-limited, serving in the 14th Congress. While in Congress, he co-authored a bill giving more benefits to people involved in the judicial branch of the government.[2]

Singson relaunched music channel Channel V Philippines on December 2009.[3] Early in 2010, Singson later was linked to actress Lovi Poe, daughter of presidential candidate Fernando Poe, Jr., a relationship downplayed by Poe when she is being interviewed by the media.[4] Singson also became a partner of Jomari Yllana in Fearless Production, a production outfit that produces live concerts.[5]

Singson sought to defend his seat in the 2010 House of Representatives election against Beltran Baterina,[6] winning in May 2010.[7]

On July 9, 2010, Singson's production outfit co-produced Usher's concert at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, and was considering to bring Justin Bieber to the Philippines.[8] In an earlier event, his company also funded the Cook-Archuelta concert held at the Mall Of Asia concert grounds.[9][10]

Arrest in Hong Kong[edit]

On late July, it was reported that Singson was arrested at the Hong Kong International Airport for allegedly possessing 26.1 grams of cocaine and 2 tablets of Valium on July 11, 2010. He refused to be helped by the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong, and on July 22, a judge denied him of bail on his arraignment.[11] On August, the judge granted him bail worth HK$2 million (PHP12 million) after it was determined that the weight of the drugs seized on Singson was only 6.7 grams. Representative Miro Quimbo observed the proceedings to compile a report to Congress.[12]

On September, the court extended his bail due to him undergoing medical treatment; it also delayed Singson's plea bargaining on October.[13] The judge then rescheduled the next hearings to November when the judge ordered Singson's lawyer to explain why a medical report would be necessary.[14] After Singson admitted that the drugs seized were for his own personal use, his lawyers arranged him to plead guilty for drug possession; this was opposed by the prosecution that insisted that Singson was importing the drugs to Hong Kong.[15]

After pleading guilty, Akbayan representative Walden Bello urged Speaker of the House of Representatives Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. to initiate expulsion proceedings against Singson. Majority floor leader Neptali Gonzales II maintained the House of Representatives' stand was to let the trial finish.[16] On January 2011, Stanley Chan, the judge presiding Singson's trial stood down after receiving a letter with "prejudicial allegations" against Singson. His father Chavit remarked after the hearing that his son was "set up."[17] Chavit later said that his son may be used as an example by the Chinese who are still angry on the Manila hostage crisis that led to the deaths of several Hong Kong residents in a bloody rescue attempt by the Manila Police District.[18] Singson considered resigning from his House seat but urged other representatives to let the trial finish before judging him.[19]

On February 23, 2011, judge Joseph Yau agreed with Singson that the drugs were for his own personal use, since that he did not need to traffic drugs to maintain a living considering he is a member of a wealthy family, although he contended that Singson overstated his level of drug use. Singson's lawyer proposed a sentence of less than two years.[20]

Yau ruled that Singson was guilty of drug possession, sentencing him to two and a half years in prison, but reducing it by a year due to Singson pleading guilty, and his good personal background. Singson's family and Lovi Poe attending the sentencing; Chavit later said that they would not appeal the decision.[21] On March 1, Singson resigned from the House of Representatives,[22] with the lower house accepting his resignation and declaring a vacancy to his seat a week later.[23]

With the vacancy, the House of Representatives ordered the Commission on Elections to call a special election to fill Singson's seat. The commission subsequently scheduled the special election on May 28,[24] where he was succeeded by his brother, Vigan Vice Mayor Ryan Singson.[25]

His father Chavit said a few weeks before Ronald's January 18, 2011 release that his son won't reenter politics and will instead focus on his businesses.[26]

Return to politics[edit]

Singson filed his certificate of candidacy for his old House of Representatives seat for the 2013 elections; his brother Ryan will instead contest Ilocos Sur's governorship, which is being held by Chavit, who will not run.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Singson resigned after being convicted by the Wan Chai District Court for drug possession.
  2. ^ "House eyes more retirement benefits for justices, judges". GMA News Online. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  3. ^ "Channel V RP relaunched". The Philippine Star. 2009-12-28. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  4. ^ Carvajal, Dolly Anne (2010-01-24). "Downplayed romance". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  5. ^ "Jomari Yllana: From Actor to Concert Producer". The Freeman Newspaper. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  6. ^ "109 years of Ortegas in La Union; Gordons, Magsaysays in Zambales". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2010-04-27. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  7. ^ "Arroyo, Pacman, Imelda win; Jocjoc, Ermita, Montano losing". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  8. ^ "Usher on being dubbed the next MJ: 'It's the ultimate compliment'". Manila Bulletin. 2010-07-08. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  9. ^ http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/442941/american-idols-david-c-david-coming
  10. ^ http://www.philstar.com/entertainment/468421/saturday-night-live-david-david
  11. ^ Balana, Cynthia (2010-07-30). "RP consulate helpless in Ronald Singson drug case in HK". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  12. ^ "Singson out on bail after payment of HK$2M". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  13. ^ Lee, Min (2010-09-07). "Philippine legislator delays plea in Hong Kong drug case, bail extended". Associated Press (680 News). Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  14. ^ "Medical report delays Singson drug case". abs-cbnNEWS.com. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  15. ^ "Chavit son to admit HK drugs charge". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  16. ^ Legaspi, Amita (2011-01-03). "Belmonte urged to start moves to expel Singson". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  17. ^ "Hong Kong judge stands down in Singson drug case". Channel News Asia. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  18. ^ Gil C. Cabacungan Jr., Nancy C. Carvajal (2011-01-15). "Chavit fears his son may suffer brunt of HK anger". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  19. ^ Roncesvalles, Carina (2011-02-18). "Singson mulls resignation". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  20. ^ Lee, Min (2011-02-23). "HK judge sides with Singson". Associated Press (Manila Bulletin). Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  21. ^ Roncesvalles, Carina (2011-02-25). "Singson sentenced to 1 year, 6 months in HK prison". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  22. ^ Balana, Cynthia (2011-03-01). "Speaker receives Singson resignation letter". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  23. ^ Cabacungan, Gil Jr. C. (2011-03-08). "House accepts Singson's resignation, fills 1-Utak seat". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  24. ^ Crisostomo, Sheila (2011-04-01). "Special poll for Singson post set May 28". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-04-05. 
  25. ^ Realgo, Bryan (2011-05-29). "Ronald Singson's bro is new Ilocos Sur rep". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  26. ^ Malig, Jojo (2011-12-22). "Ronald Singson won't return to politics - Chavit". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  27. ^ Balbin, Leoncio Jr. (2012-10-05). "Chavit Singson drops out of Ilocos Sur race". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2012-12-23.