Youth groups protest ROTC revival, lower criminal age threshold
MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Kabataan party-list and the youth wing of Gabriela party-list on Monday protested the proposal to lower the minimum age of criminal liability (MACR) and to revive the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.
The protesters, who staged a quick program outside the House of Representatives, stressed that the government should focus on providing basic social services such as education and not the reinstatement of mandatory ROTC for high school students, which they fear may spur militarization.
The lower MACR and ROTC revival are being tackled by the 17th Congress, although the House has already passed House Bill 8858, which would amend R.A. 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006 and bring down MACR from 15 to 12.
Last January 30, the House committee on basic education approved a bill seeking to revive ROTC for senior high school students. /gsg
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