Student Leader Opposes Sara Duterte’s Mandatory Military Service Called it Abusive
A student leader opposed vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte’s push of mandatory military service for youths and called it an abusive program.
Jonas Abadilla, head of the UP Diliman University Student Council, expresses his opposition to youngsters who have reached the age of 18 being forced to serve in the military. Its purpose, he claims, is to foster nationalism in kids through military-style training.
“Mandatory ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) in the first place has a goal to instill nationalism to students using military-style training,” Abadilla, told ANC’s “Rundown”.
“However, I believe this will be an insult to the decades of student struggle into academic freedom since there are other ways to express nationalism and patriotism that can be done without this abusive program,” he added.
The planned mandatory ROTC, according to Abadilla, “should no longer be revived.” He emphasized that obligatory ROTC has a great influence on the country, but that many kids are abused, and that the country has a culture of violence and mindless obedience.
“Based on the cases that students are being abused and has this culture of violence and blind obedience, I cannot fully say and believe that mandatory ROTC will have this positive impact to the country,” he said.
Following the tragic murder of Mark Chua, a University of Santo Tomas student who was reportedly killed by course commanders after revealing money corruption, the ROTC was declared optional in 2002. Along with Civic Welfare Training Service and Literacy Training Service, ROTC is currently one of the three components of the National Service Training Program.
Military duty in the Philippines is currently optional. Article 2, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution, on the other hand, allows for conscription. In the face of the country’s culture of violence and corruption, Abadilla finds it difficult to comprehend the redeeming purpose of required military duty.
“Instead of having mandatory ROTC, we can promote the values of peace and respect for human rights,” he said.
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