MANILA- The country's first transgender lawmaker is also the first transgender member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman on Wednesday took her oath as a reservist officer of the Philippine military and was donned the rank of lieutenant colonel.
"I commend the AFP for allowing Filipino LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) members to serve their country in uniform," Roman said in a statement.
"My belief is that all patriotic Filipinos must be allowed to apply for military service, regardless of gender and sexual orientation and identification. After all, war and disaster do not recognize gender," she added.
Defense chief Delfin Lorenzana administered the donning of ranks and oath-taking ceremony which was also attended by AFP chief of staff, Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other defense and security officials.
Roman also called for the restoration of the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) for students in grades 11 and 12.
"We in Congress are working to make the ROTC experience a significant, beneficial and meaningful training experience. We will ensure that patriotism will be inculcated among the youth through this course," she said.