‘Overtly military’: Imee says she is against revival of mandatory ROTC
Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - July 25, 2019 - 2:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Imee Marcos expressed opposition Thursday to any proposed legislation that would require the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program for senior high school students.

“For me, you can’t really force a kid to become a soldier,” the neophyte senator said, adding the program is “overtly, completely military.”

President Rodrigo Duterte on his fourth State of the Nation Address called on lawmakers to ensure the passage of a bill that would make ROTC mandatory, noting students nowadays are “bereft of patriotism and the love of country.”

But Marcos stressed that one does not need to become a soldier to show love for the country.

“You don’t need to fight a war to show you love and serve the country. There are other ways of national service,” she said.

Her father, late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was commissioned as apprentice officer in the Philippine Constabulary Reserve after having been an ROTC battalion commander.

Marcos filed Senate Bill 413 to push for a “Citizen Service Program” from grade school to college. She said her proposal “still accommodates President Duterte’s call for military service for the youth but allows college students the choice of training instead in community service, disaster preparedness and environmental protection to develop a sense of ‘bayanihan.’”

The ROTC was made optional in 2001 after the National Service Training Program was signed, which allows college students to choose between ROTC, Literacy Training Program and Civic Welfare Training Service as part of their required NSTP.

CWTS refers to activities contributory to the general welfare of the members of the community, especially those devoted to improving health, education, environment, entrepreneurship, safety and recreation of the citizenry. LTS, meanwhile, refers to a program component design to train students to teach literacy and numeracy skills.

The death of Mark Chua, a University of Santo Tomas student and cadet, led to the abolition of the ROTC program. Chua was murdered after exposing irregularities in the ROTC unit of the university.

In the 17th Congress, the House of Representatives passed its version of the proposed measure. The bill reviving the mandatory ROTC, however, failed to make it in the Senate.

IMEE MARCOS REVIVAL OF ROTC
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