THE Defense Department on Valentine’s Day swore in the country’s first transgender lawmaker into the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ reserve force.
Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman took his oath before Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and was given the rank of lieutenant colonel of the Philippine Army Reserve Force.
Armed Forces Chief Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other officials from the three branches of the military witnessed Roman’s oath-taking at the Defense Department’s Hall of Flags.
Before his entry to the reserve force, Roman filed an application expressing his willingness to join the military, which was approved.
He is an advocate of the revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for grades 11 and 12.
Roman expressed support for the corps during last year’s ROTC Corps Commanders’ Summit and Senior Reservist Commanders’ Conference in Camp Aguinaldo.
He thanked the AFP for allowing people like him, a representative from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, to apply for the Philippine Army Reserve Corps.
He will now have to report to the Army corps to fulfill his duties and responsibilities in the reserve force.
Roman will also be participating in various military activities, including potential deployment in times of war and humanitarian missions.
“War and disaster do not recognize gender, they affect everybody and everyone must defend and serve our communities,” Roman said.
Aside from Roman, two other lawmakers―Reps. Edwin Marino Ongchuan of Northern Samar and Divina Grace Yu of Zamboanga del Sur’s First District also took their oath as lieutenant colonels In the Army’s Reserve Force.