• Geraldine Roman shaking hands with voters during a campaign trip to the town of Orani, Bataan province, north of Manila. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Philippines army recently announced it would be encouraging the LGBT+ community to enlist.
Michaela Morgan

17 Feb 2017 - 12:56 PM  UPDATED 17 Feb 2017 - 12:56 PM

Politician Geraldine Roman could become the first transgender officer in the Philippines military with the congresswoman announcing plans to join the reserve forces.

Roman wrote in a statement that she wanted to become a military officer to show her support for the country’s president, Rodgrido Duterte.

“This will complement [the army's] appreciation for the LGBT community for they will see that we can exemplify the same sense of discipline, the same military professionalism, and the same love of country that the current men and women in uniform embody,” Roman wrote.

LGBT+ people are welcome to join the Philippine Army so long as they promise to “behave themselves”
"We are reminding them that they need to act and behave with dignity and with proper care to the uniform.”

She made history last year when she became the first transgender politician to win a congressional seat in the mostly conservative Catholic country.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) says Roman would be a “welcome addition” if she follows through with her application.

The AFP’s spokesman, Colonel Edgard Arevalo said, “Whether in regular or reservist force, we do not discriminate with respect for gender. Our gender and development program guarantees that.”

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The AFP is hoping to enlist 10,000 new recruits by the end of 2017 and recently encouraged members of the LGBT community to sign up.

Arevalo confirmed that Roman would be able to wear a female uniform, if she was recruited into the reserves.

“Asking her to wear a male uniform when she is already transformed into a woman will put her to ridicule and we do not want that to happen in the Armed Forces,” he added.