Link to teaching case: 


Halfway into his single, six-year term as president of the Philippines, Fidel Ramos was looking forward to the country's mid-term congressional elections as an affirmation of support for his administration's economic policies. Elected in 1992, Ramos was being widely acknowledged for having made significant strides towards lifting the country out of poverty. With his personal popularity soaring, he predicted his supporters would win all 12 of the Senate seats being contested in the 1995 legislative elections. But two months before the election a crisis threatened to shatter this picture. Millions of the country's citizens had long been forced to go overseas for work. One such woman, Flor Contemplacion, who worked as a maid in Singapore, had been accused in 1991 of killing two people. Singapore's courts found her guilty and sentenced her to death. Less than two weeks before the maid's scheduled execution, a witness came forward who claimed she had evidence Contemplacion was innocent. This affair threatened to disrupt diplomatic relations with Singapore, an important trading partner, and damage the president's chances for doing well in the mid-term elections.


Harvey Simon


Harvard Kennedy School

Pub date: 

Sunday, January 1, 1995