In a speech on November 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his call for the revival of the mandatory ROTC program for college students. He also called on the Congress to pass a law that would require mandatory ROTC for Grade 11 and 12 students.
Army Reserve Command Facebook page
House OKs bill making ROTC mandatory for Grade 11, 12 students
( - May 20, 2019 - 6:23pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:44 p.m.) — The House of Representatives approved Monday the proposed measure to make enrollment in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps mandatory for Grades 11 and 12 students.

News5 reported that the House voted 167-4-0 to approve House Bill 8961 on third and final reading.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said that he wanted to require military training for senior high school students to “instill patriotism” and “love of country among our youth.”

RELATED: Duterte admits not finishing ROTC course

Counterpart bills, sponsored by Sens. JV Ejercito, Sherwin Gatchalian and Manny Pacquiao, remain pending at the committee level at the Senate.

ROTC was made optional for students in 2001, following the death of University of Santo Tomas student and cadet Mark Chua who disclosed the corruption in the university’s ROTC program in 2001.

Chua’s body, wrapped in a carpet, was later found floating in the Pasig River.

In 2004, a Manila court found ROTC cadet Arnufo Aparri Jr. guilty of killing Chua. He was sentenced to death and was ordered to pay the family a 50,000-peso indemnity. However, Aparri's sentenced was downgraded to life imprisonment without parole when the death penalty was abolished in 2006.

Another accused, Eduardo Tabrilla, pleaded guilty to homicide in 2006 while the other two involved — Paul Tan and Michael Manangbao — are still at large, according to UST’s student publication, The Varsitarian.

On Jan. 23, 2002, Republic Act 9163 or the National Service Training Program Act of 2001 was signed into law. This allowed college students to choose between ROTC, Literacy Training Service and Civil Welfare Training Service as part of their required National Service Training Program.

Salinlahi, a children’s rights advocate group, is among the groups opposed to the revival of mandatory ROTC.

“With the fascist and brutal record of the Duterte government, they do not have even an ounce of moral ascendancy to teach the youth about respect for human rights,” Salinlahi secretary-general Eule Rico Bonganay said.

“Despite its supposed objective of instilling nationalism, discipline and respect for human rights among the Filipino youth, the ROTC only teaches students brutality, fascism, corruption and impunity,” Bonganay added.

Anakbayan secretary general Einstein Recedes also said that ROTC “put students at the mercy of cruel fellow students and the bloodthirsty, corrupt and incompetent [Armed Forces of the Philippines] officers in charge of the program.” —  Kristine Joy Patag with report from News5

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with