THE REPVBLIC, THE professional organization of the Department of Political Science of San Beda University (SBU), remained steadfast in opposing the “impending passage” of the Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) by the Senate in their Facebook post proclaiming such a stand last September 9.
In their post, the organization refuted five claims that were presented by legislators in the past seven months with facts. Firstly, they quoted Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa who said that aggression coming from China would lessen if Filipinos were “well trained” from the ROTC program. This was in light of the recent incident that took place in the Ayungin Shoal where Chinese Coast Guards (CCG) fired water cannons at a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessel.
While this was an unlawful act by China, the organization condemns that there is “no data proving that a mandatory ROTC would increase the country’s credibility in the international realm were stated to support this claim.”
The second claim discussed the decline of the National Service Training Program (NSTP) due to its failure of producing the “needed force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” as Sen. dela Rosa stated.
Once again, there was no data to prove the “failure” of the NSTP considering how the program’s primary goal is “to enable the Filipino youth to develop skills through civic engagements and community integrations,” in line with the NSTP Law of 2001 (R.A. 9163).
The third claim was of most students claiming to be in support of ROTC, according to Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian. The Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Sen Gatchalian, while its results presented the favourability of most adults, is nonetheless faulty as respondents were not incoming and current college students, not to mention how the survey itself was not “appropriately worded.”
Fourth, the ROTC program will encourage “discipline, teamwork, patriotism” and other competencies in risk reduction and management, human rights, and leadership, as Sen. Francis Tolentino noted.
The Repvblic quotes that the aforementioned objectives are not “primarily military concerns” but are rather “civic and political objectives.” Adding more to which, there are other volunteer programs that offer competencies on risk reduction and management under the Philippine Disaster Reduction and Management Act (R.A. 10121).
Lastly, Sen. dela Rosa says that hazing is “just a desperate move from anti-ROTC leftist groups” to resist the ROTC. “ROTC is rooted in the traditions of the military,” writes the Repvblic, “and hazing has been historically part of its wider culture of violence since its establishment.” Studies by military officers have shown that members follow hazing regulations in the beginning but they, however, still revert to the “group think phenomena.”
The Political Science organization stressed that “the youth deserve better than to bear the expense of the administration’s misaligned priorities,” once again rejecting the ROTC bill.