First transgender solon joins AFP
Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, the country’s first transgender congresswoman, took her oath as a Reservist Officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a ceremony at the Department of National Defense (DND) on Valentine’s Day.
Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman donned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as she officially joined the Philippine Army Reserve Force on February 14.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana administered the donning of ranks and oath-taking ceremony which was attended by Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other defense and security officials.
Roman announced her application to the AFP Reserve Force in February 2017. She also commended the AFP for allowing individuals from the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Community to apply for the military service. “War and disaster do not recognize gender; it affects everybody, and everyone must defend themselves, their families, their communities, and our country, that is why I am joining the AFP Reserve Force,” Congresswoman Roman said.
The first transgender military officer is also an advocate for the revival of the Mandatory Reserved Officers Training Course (ROTC) for grades 11 and 12. She expressed her support for the program during the ROTC Corps Commanders’ Summit and Senior Reservist Commanders’ Conference held on 22 February 2017 in Camp Aguinaldo,
Two other congressmen – Edwin Marino Ongchuan of Northern Samar and Divina Grace Yu of Zamboanga Del Sur’s 1st District – also took their oath as Lieutenant Colonels in the Army’s reserve force.#