Legarda Promoted to Colonel

March 9, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda has been promoted to the rank of Colonel, Philippine Air Force (Reserve), following the consent of the Commission on Appointments (CA) to her nomination last March 7.

Legarda, a three-term senator who chairs the Committees on Finance, Foreign Relations and Climate Change, was nominated for promotion to the rank of Colonel after completing her Command and General Staff Course under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Command and General Staff College (AFP-CGSC) in December last year.

In 1993, Legarda obtained her Master’s Degree in National Security Administration from the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), graduating at the top of the 27th Regular Class (RC). She had since become a reserve officer in the AFP with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

In his sponsorship speech during the CA’s plenary session, Senator Gringo Honasan said that Legarda “represents the aggregate of all the nominees” as she embodies the traits of a “true leader.”

Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Panfilo Lacson seconded, stressing that Legarda is “a woman of action, a doer and a mover.”

Aside from Legarda, the CA also gave its consent to the nomination of the following members of Congress to the rank of Colonel: House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao, House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia, House Deputy Speaker Bai Sandra Sema, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and Cong. Roy Loyola. The CA also confirmed the ad interim appointments of Major General Rene Glen Paje and Col. Marlyn Agabas (Philippine Army, Reserve), Representative of the 6th District of Pangasinan.

For her part, Legarda said that, “As a public official, I have been deeply devoted to serve our country, but as a reserve officer of the AFP, it has been my commitment to contribute to improving not only the Philippine Air Force (PAF), but also the whole military. I have rendered my full support to the programs of the AFP particularly its modernization, bearing in mind that a modernized, well-equipped, highly-professional military force is crucial to preserve our sovereignty and protect our people.”

She added that it is also her advocacy to make the AFP a resilient force, stressing that the increasing number of disasters and the country’s vulnerability to disaster risks provide a compelling case for the AFP’s more pronounced role in the humanitarian space.

It if for this reason that Legarda’s research paper for the CGSC titled, “The AFP in the Humanitarian Space: Building Resilience, Fostering Resilient Communities,” delved into the role of the military not just in responding to disasters, but also in reducing climate and disaster risks. Legarda received the Academic Excellence award for her research.

“The members of the AFP are more than just combatants, as they have also become a central component of humanitarian action. The military must become a resilient force so it may also deliver support to national and local agencies in building more resilient communities. We need to have a modernized AFP capable of protecting the State, our people, and itself against both natural and man-made threats to our security,” said Legarda.