AFP appoints first female judge advocate general

Rappler.com
Colonel Marian C. Aledio was appointed as the military's new chief legal adviser, replacing Brigadier General Gilberto Jose Roa

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has appointed a female, for the first time, to assume the highest position in the defense department’s law branch.

AFP announced on Sunday, July 29, that Colonel Marian C. Aledio was appointed on July 23 as the new chief legal adviser of the military and the Department of National Defense (DND), replacing Brigadier General Gilberto Jose Roa.

“I am thankful, overwhelmed and overjoyed. Not in my wildest imaginations did I ever think that I would be able to achieve this position, especially that the JAGS (Judge Advocate General Service) used to be and still is, a male-dominated unit in the AFP,” she said.

JAGS is the legal arm of the AFP and DND. The Office of The Judge Advocate General is responsible for resolving all legal issues on real estate, personnel, retirement, appointment, separation, demotion, promotion, and procurement within AFP and DND.

Aledio, a lawyer who entered the military in 1984, was the Army Judge Advocate in the Philippine Army for almost three years prior to her promotion.

She also held positions as the Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Provost Marshall General, Deputy Judge Advocate General, Deputy Naval Judge Advocate, and Marine Corps Staff Judge Advocate. She was appointed as the Chief of the Legal Branch at the Office of the Inspector General, and Deputy Chief at the Office of Ethical Standards and Public Accountability of the AFP General Headquarters.

Her most notable cases were the 2006 Marine Standoff in Fort Bonifacio where she was a law member, and the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny in Makati where she was part of the defense panel. She also formed part in the early days of the AFP Modernization Program in the 1990s when she assisted in the procurement of major equipment as legal officer in the different Bids and Awards Committee.

Aleido obtained her Law degree at the University of the East in 1979. She worked for two and a half years at her father’s law office in Jaro, Leyte before entering the military service in 1984.

“The AFP welcomes Col. Aleido as its first female Judge Advocate General. Her service to the military embodied by her outstanding roster of works as military lawyer is met with great expectations from our part, in terms of further improving the administration of military justice in the AFP,” AFP Chief of Staff, General Jessie Dellosa said.
 
Aleido said that the AFP needs more lawyers, hence she’ll give priority to the recruitment of more lawyers through advertisement in different law schools and military camps. “We need to put lawyers in the position where they can best utilize their experience and skills,” she said.

She said she’ll also campaign to improve the quality of legal service that the JAGS provide to the department in general, and to expedite adjudication of claims, contracts particularly in procurements and matters on personnel, real estate and disposition of military justice issues.

“We can only assure that in resolving cases, we will be guided first by our conscience, the law and the evidence. We will keep a blind eye on the personalities involved, but the primacy of the best interest of the service as consideration.” she said. – Rappler.com