No forcing foreign students to love PH, but they’re not exempted from ROTC bill — Bato
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa sees no legal problem in including foreign students in the coverage of the proposed mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).
“There is no exemption. That’s the general rule, no exemption,” Dela Rosa said in an interview with reporters on Monday when asked about the exemptions in the ROTC bill he endorsed last month for plenary approval.
“Kagaya ng mga foreigners, mga foreigner na estudyante, you cannot subject them to love our country, to die for our country because they belong to another country and yet hindi pa rin sila exempted sa ROTC,” he said.
(Like the foreign students, you cannot subject them to love our country, to die for our country because they belong to another country, and yet they are not still exempted from ROTC)
If the measure is passed into law, all students in Higher Educational Institutions and Technical Vocational Institutions will be mandated to undergo the basic ROTC, or else they will not be allowed to graduate.
And though the measure provides no exemptions, there will be a “specialized program” for students with disabilities, those whose religious beliefs prohibit the use of firearms in rendering service to the country, and those who have been convicted by final judgment of crimes involving moral turpitude.
The specialized program shall include modules like the basic ROTC program except for physical military training. The bill pointed out.
Foreign citizens enrolled in baccalaureate degree courses or technical vocational courses where the basic ROTC is required will likewise have to undergo a specialized program “that would deepen their understanding and appreciation of the Philippines, its people, society, culture and government, and harness their potential as bridges to improve their respective countries with the Philippines.”
“Provided, further, that foreign students who will complete the course shall not be included in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Reserve Force,” the bill further reads.
Asked in the interview about possible legal questions on including foreign students, Dela Rosa said: “So far wala naman akong nakita.”
(So far, I have not seen anything)
The senator reiterated their commitment to passing the mandatory ROTC bill within the year, noting that only those identified with the Left oppose it.
“Majority rules. We live in a democratic country,” he said, “Alam ko naman na kokonti lang naman yung mga estudyante na ayaw, lalong lalo na yung mga identified with the Left. Ayaw na ayaw talaga nila and we know that.”
(I know that only a few students are against it, especially those identified with the Left. They really don’t like it and we know that)
“Magparami muna sila para ang kagustuhan nila ang masunod dito sa ating bansa,” Dela Rosa, a former police chief,” said.
(They have to grow their number first so that their desires will be followed here in our country)