CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recruited 36 military lawyers – one of its highest over the years, following an intensified recruitment campaign that started in March, Colonel Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Office Chief, said Sunday, 06 August 2017.

“Since the assumption of our Judge Advocate General, Colonel Serme Ayuyao last March, the AFP has strengthened the recruitment of eligible lawyers who have the passion to serve in the military service,” Colonel Arevalo said.

The 36 lawyers were appointed as Probationary Second Lieutenants (P2LTs) on 16 July 2017. They will be initially deployed to the General Headquarters (GHQ), Army, Air Force, and Navy headquarters for familiarization and internship.

“This batch of new military lawyers came from different regions nationwide; from the Cordilleras to Mindanao. Twenty (20) are females while 12 are males. We expect them to don their uniforms after completing their formal training in October,” Colonel Arevalo said.  

The new P2LTs are set to undertake their 45-day Technical Administrative Service Military Orientation Course (TASMOC) on September 11. They will graduate in October to officially join the Judge Advocate General Service.

The lawyers will be commissioned as Captain in the active service upon completion of their TASMOC. They will be formally assigned to different forward AFP units afterwards.

On Thursday, 03 August 2017, the newly-hired lawyers made a courtesy call to Vice Admiral Narciso Vingson Jr, the Deputy Chief of Staff AFP at the GHQ Conference Room in Camp Aguinaldo. They were accompanied by the Judge Advocate General, Colonel Serme Ayuyao.

“The Office of the Judge Advocate General (OTJAG) commits to beef up the number of military lawyers and strengthen the competence of the AFP’s legal services. This is part of our thrust to ensure optimum assistance to AFP’s units and personnel,” Colonel Ayuyao said.

“The AFP through OTJAG will see to it that all our members are assured of appropriate legal protection as they perform their mandate,” Colonel Ayuyao added.

Under his stewardship, the OTJAG was able to employ 60 probationary military lawyers since March 2017–a significant increase from last year’s 16 recruits. At present, the AFP has 96 active military lawyers but recruitment is still ongoing for 94 more.

The OTJAG is responsible for resolving all legal issues on real state, personnel, retirement, appointment, separation, demotion, promotion, and procurement within the AFP.