The youth is not the mercenary force’s reserve army! Oppose and strike against mandatory ROTC!

This article is available in Pilipino

From the very beginning of Sara Duterte’s bid for vice presidency, she already declared among her priority agenda the mandatory ROTC for Senior high school. Supposedly, it will instill patriotism among the youth. But for whom and for what ends is ROTC in reality? The youth will be trained to be servile subordinates of generals rabid in their desire to silence the people? Clearly, ROTC will only teach them violence against their fellow countrymen and blind subservience to the whims of the powerful.

ROTC is extremely detrimental to the Filipino youth because through this program, the bloodthirsty, vicious and anti-poor doctrine of the AFP-PNP will be instilled upon them. They will be taught to hunt and treat as enemies of the state all those who dare speak for the welfare of the majority. They will be taught to see the lives of people as mere collateral damage. They will be taught to follow blindly, be silent and to never question authority. They will be taught to hate their fellowmen and to abhor genuine change and liberty.

Aside from the troubling culture of violence that the youth will be indoctrinated to, there are effects that precipitate the program such as the rise in cases of violence within the ROTC. In fact, it mandatory ROTC was once abolished because of numerous controversies and scandals in its implementation. One of the most remarkable cases was the death of Mark Welson Chua, an ROTC cadet from the University of Sto. Tomas, who was killed after he exposed the corruption of his ROTC officials. Cases of hazing and abuse against the youth are sure to happen again, if not worsen in magnitude.

The people must not allow the mandatory ROTC to be implemented again. Obliging the youth to take ROTC will never teach them patriotism. True patriotism comes from loving their fellowmen and serving them. It is in understanding the real conditions of the nation and in participating in a movement that aims to change society for the betterment of the majority. It is in the assiduous study of the society in which they exist and in siding with the oppressed and exploited. The youth will learn to be nationalist by integrating themselves with the peasantry, the workers and other sectors of society not through the repressive and vacuous violence of ROTC.

The youth is not the mercenary force’s reserve army! Oppose and strike against mandatory ROTC!