MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines is not closing its doors on the transgender lawmaker who expressed interest in joining its Reserve Force.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said it welcomed the expressed intent of Bataan First District Rep. Geraldine Roman, the country's first transgender legislator, to join the military and become an officer of its Reserve Force.
The AFP said in a statement that it does not discriminate applicants in terms of gender, either in the regular or reserve force of the military.
It said the military institution has its own gender and development programme that handles gender issues.
"The AFP welcomes the expressed interest of Rep. Roman. We highly value the patriotism of our citizens and will work to cultivate this. She will be a welcome addition to the reservists force," the statement said.
The AFP reminded all applicants who will train in the military service that they would be entering an institution placed in high esteem.
"As such, we admonish them to maintain the dignity of the uniform; observe discipline, propriety and decorum; and measure up to the steep standards of the service," the statement said.
"Else, they have no room in this noble profession of arms," it added.
In a statement, Roman commended the AFP for its policy of accepting members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and expressed her strong support for the return of the Reserve Officers Training Command (ROTC) for the youth.
"Change is truly happening in our country now as promised by President(Rodrigo) Duterte," Roman said, as she thanked the President, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief Gen. Eduardo Año for allowing the entry of the LGBT in the military force.
To show her support for the President, Roman said she will encourage the youth to join and promote the ROTC.
She said this will prepare them for the country's defence and for earthquake and typhoon rescue operations.