First transgender lawmaker joins armed forces
MANILA, Philippines – It's official. The country's first transgender politician is also the military's first transgender military officer.
Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman on Wednesday, February 14, took her oath as a reservist officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the military announced. She was accompanied by her mother, Herminia Roman.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself donned the epaulet Roman. He was assisted by General Rey Leonardo Guerrero.
Roman has the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Roman expressed her intent to joint the Army Reserve Force last year. The uniform was initially an issue, but the military eventually respected Roman's intent to wear a female officer's uniform.
Roman encouraged the public to join the Reserve force.
“War and disaster do not recognize gender, it affects everybody, and everyone must defend and serve our communities, and our country, that is why I am joining the AFP Reserve Force,” Roman said.
Roman is also an advocate for the revival of the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Course (ROTC) for grades 11 and 12.
“We in Congress are working to make the ROTC experience a significant, beneficial and meaningful learning experience for those who will join and we will ensure that the value of patriotism will be inculcated among the youth through this course,” she said.
Northern Samar 2nd District Representative Edwin Marino Ongchuan and Zamboanga del Sur 1st District Representative Divina Grace Yu also took their oath as members of the Army’s Reserve Force, both with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. – Rappler.com
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