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Metro

Bill to abolish ROTC readied

- Efren Danao -
Reelected Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. said Wednesday that he would file a bill abolishing compulsory enrollment in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).

Under the present law, all college students are required to earn 12 units of ROTC before they can graduate. Those who finish their ROTC training become members of the reserve force of the armed forces.

Magsaysay made the commitment to abolish compulsory ROTC following the death of Mark Wilson Chua, an engineering student of the University of Sto. Tomas. Chua was killed and his body thrown into the Pasig River after he had made an exposé on alleged irregularities in the ROTC program.

Magsaysay said that with the absence of any external threat to national defense and security, there is no longer a need to focus on military training.

ROTC training was initiated before World War II when the Philippines was still trying to build an army and threats of a war were ominous.

Magsaysay noted, however, a recent finding showing that the Armed Forces of the Philippines recruits a mere 10 percent of the 400,000 ROTC graduates each year.

He said that this figure indicates an overwhelming majority of ROTC graduates have their interest elsewhere and should, therefore, be given a choice.

"I believe students should instead have the option to take up community service or related subjects that will enhance their performance of civic duties," Magsaysay said.

He said that his bill would seek to redirect and guide students to the ethics of conscientious and patriotic civic and social responsibilities instead of focusing their attention solely on defense and security.

Magsaysay also urged the defense department to stop all irregularities and malpractice in the ROTC program.

He noted that at present, ROTC credits can be acquired by simply paying up or making a deal with the commandant or tactical officers without undergoing actual training.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

MAGSAYSAY

MARK WILSON CHUA

PASIG RIVER

RAMON MAGSAYSAY JR.

REELECTED SEN

RESERVE OFFICERS TRAINING CORPS

ROTC

UNIVERSITY OF STO

WORLD WAR

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