Bayan Muna: ROTC won’t teach nationalism
MANILA, Philippines — Nationalism can be instilled by teaching local language and history, not by implementing the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, Bayan Muna said Wednesday, Independence Day.
Rep. Carlos Zarate said mandatory ROTC training will only teach young people how to follow orders blindly.
“We can also instill patriotism in our youth by developing Filipino as our national language and the proper teaching of history to our students,” Zarate said in a statement.
“Di ito makukuha sa ROTC na ang tinuturo lamang ay sumunod sa utos na di naman nag-iisip. Ang mapoproduce lamang ng ganito ay mga puppet na walang sariling isip at di nakapagsasalita,” he added.
(It cannot be done through ROTC, which teaches young people only to follow orders without thinking. We can only produce puppets who can’t think and speak for themselves.)
Calls to bring back the ROTC program have mounted with the controversial Duterte Youth party-list nominee and former Youth Commissioner Ronald Cardema vowing to advocate for the measure.
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte has certified as urgent a law which would bring the ROTC back in senior high school. However, opposition groups said that the move would only bring back issues on sexual harassment and militarization, which were the same reasons why the program was scrapped in the first place.
Zarate highlighted talks of nationalism amid the Chinese influence over the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea. Earlier, Bayan Muna and other militant groups have tried to protest the supposed Chinese intrusion in the region but were blocked by the police stationed in the area.
“Aside from Chinese creeping invasion through the outright island and sea grabbing, they are also trying to reel the Philippines in by disadvantageous loans and the influx of Chinese workers in the country. They now even have Chinese only restaurants and have caused the skyrocketing prices of real estate properties,” Zarate said.
However, he clarified that criticizing the Chinese government’s actions should not come at the expense of discriminating Chinese people.
“While we should not discriminate against the Chinese people, we must be fully conscious and vigilant of what the Chinese government is doing and its plans for our country,” Zarate said in a statement.
Recently, Filipinos on social media have posted about Chinese citizens and their supposed rude attitude towards locals — including one incident where a Chinese woman threw a cup of soy pudding at a police officer at the Metro Rail Transit.
Other individuals, however, have cautioned against treating the Chinese people as an extension of their government. (Editor: Eden Estopace)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.