New AFP chief vows to eliminate ROTC malpractices, abuses
MANILA, Philippines — The reported malpractices and abuses hounding the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program should be eliminated, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief-of-staff General Romeo Brawner Jr. said on Friday.
“We are going to do away with that, by making sure that we have a professional core of soldiers and officers who will take care, take charge and manage the new program of the ROTC,” Brawner said in a chance interview with the media after the change of command and retirement ceremony in Camp Aguinaldo.
“Looking at the past experience that we have in ROTC, there are abuses in the past,” he added.
Brawner cited incidents of hazing and bribery in exchange of good grades and exemption from the military service training as well as “a lot of other malpractices.”
The ROTC was made optional through the NSTP Act of 2001 following the brazen killing of University of Santo Tomas sophomore cadet Mark Welson Chua, who had exposed corruption in the university’s ROTC program.
The mandatory ROTC bill is now up for plenary debates in the Senate.
The return of mandatory ROTC is backed by Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte as well as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.