Kabataan, Gabriela solons slam mandatory ROTC
MANILA, Philippines — Kabataan Rep. Sarah Elago and Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas on Tuesday slammed the proposed mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, saying this would foster “blind obedience” and discourage critical thinking among students.
In a press conference, Elago also cited the potential for abuse of the proposed program which, she said, “could be used to militarize and spread fear in the school campus.”
Gabriela Youth member Clarice Pace said that even with ROTC being voluntary, there have already been cases of rape, sexual harassment and abuse of power against women cadets.
Pace added that subjecting minors age 16 to 17 to the program goes against laws that prohibit the arming and recruitment of minors into the military.
The representatives of the Makabayan bloc also registered their protest against laws that they described as “antichildren and oppressive,” including the measure seeking to lower the age of criminal responsibility.
The administration should instead focus on fully implementing the Juvenile Justice law, they added.
Brosas said the government has to first provide for the needs of children in conflict with the law, and other marginalized youths, for them not to commit offenses and be truly rehabilitated.
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