The Mindanao-born solon said that as the top defense officials in the country, Lorenzana and Año should be “circumspect” about the statements they make regarding women in the military.
“If Gabriela Silang were alive today, I believe she would take exception to the statements of our good Defense Secretary and our good AFP Chief of Staff,” said Pimentel.
According to Pimentel, President of PDP-Laban, he agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte that the record number of female PMA graduates in PMA Salaknib Class of 2017 was a welcome development, not a cause for concern.
At PMA’s graduating rites earlier this month, the President said that having the highest number of graduating women in the PMA’s history is a breakthrough that is “a fitting tribute to our mothers, sisters, and daughters as we celebrate Women’s Month.”
Aside from a record number of female graduates, women also dominated the top ten of the class, securing eight of the ten top spots.
“If I have granddaughters, I don’t want anyone telling them what they can or cannot do. The world is full of examples of women who serve in the front lines of their armed forces.”
The former Bar topnotcher explained that Lorenzana and Año are expected to fully implement Section 15 of RA 9710, which says that “the State shall pursue appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination of women in the military, police, and other similar services, including revising or abolishing policies and practices that restrict women from availing of both combat and noncombat training that are open to men, or from taking on functions other than administrative tasks, such as engaging in combat, security-related, or field operations.”
“Napakalinaw ng batas. (The law is very clear.) Our women can serve in combat roles if they want to and if they qualify for it.”