By Hananeel Bordey
Senator Imee Marcos on Sunday repeated her position that the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) should not be forced on students as it will not work just like what happened to the mandatory ROTC ordered by her father, former president Ferdinand Marcos, in 1967.
“Even my father changed his mind,” Marcos said in a radio interview. “In 1967, my father ordered mandatory ROTC in all schools and it was done through an executive order. After how many decades, by 1980, he figured out that it did not work because you cannot force it.”
She added, “He (ex-President Marco) made it as an option because you cannot force a child to become a soldier. You cannot command love for the country. You should teach it while they are young until they grow up. Then if they want to be a soldier, then why not?”
Marcos’ remarks follow the hearings of the Senate Committee on Basic Education and its counterpart in the House of Representatives on the mndatory ROTC bls filed in each chamber.
Sen. Marcos had filed a bill on citizen service program wherein college students can choose to train on military service, community service or disaster preparedness and environmental protection.
The neophyte senator, who ran under the pro-administration Hugpong ng Pagbabago in the last election, clarified that her opinion remains aligned with the Duterte administration’s push for a mandatory ROTC.
During his State of the Nation Address in July, President Rodrigo Duterte asked Congress to pass the bill on mandatory ROTC as it will strengthen the defense system of the Philippines.
The ROTC was made optional in 2001 under the National Service Training Program law wherein college students were required to undergo ROTC, literacy training or civic welfare training.
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