MANILA, Philippines - Gays and lesbians are welcome at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) -- as long as they keep up with the rigorous training, avoid cross-dressing, and will not commit lewd acts.
Some gays and lesbians have already become cadets at the PMA but later quit because they could not meet the high standards required of them to be military officers, PMA spokesman Capt. Agnes Lynette Flores said Tuesday.
"Once they are admitted to the Philippine Military Academy, they are required to behave the way the cadets are to behave," she said.
Flores said one no-no in the PMA is cross-dressing.
“What is not allowed is not allowed. That’s what we teach our cadets. If you cannot comply with the rules, you yourself will violate the rule, you are not deserving to be called PMAyer,” she explained.
“If they display gay antics, they are going to be scolded because that’s not what’s expected of them," she said. "Since they entered the institution, they are to follow the rules and regulation of our organization.”
Flores said some military officers came out of the closet only after leaving the PMA. "It was when they were already out. In fairness to them, they are not abusing their position in the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said Flores.
PMA superintendent Maj. Gen. Nonato Alfredo Peralta said the institution is not closing its doors to members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community but they should follow the PMA's rules.
"We are not refusing them," Peralta said at a media briefing at Camp Aguinaldo Tuesday.
He said the country's top military academy is also keeping up with transitions in Philippine culture.
“We cannot say that it's (gays and lesbians) prohibited. That’s not the case. We are not prohibiting it," he said.