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Photo from Reserve Officers Training Corps – ROTC’s Facebook Page

ROTC will ‘normalize’ violence, impunity in schools, group warns

DAVAO City — The youth group League of Filipino Students (LFS) recently voiced out its concerns and condemned the government’s renewed bid to revive the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) among senior high school (SHS) students in the country.

ROTC will not only be a simple part of a school curriculum that will be mandatory to all SHS students but will also be utilized by the government to inflict fear among students and the Filipino people, the group believed.

LFS National Spokesperson Kara Taggaoa slammed House of Representatives for “rushing” the passage of the substitute bill, which is now House bill 8961, seeking to revive the ROTC for Grade 11 and 12 students in public and private high schools.

The said program imposes serious threats of normalizing violence and impunity in schools, the LFS leader warned.

“ROTC has a long history of abuse, harassment, and corruption in schools. We are concerned how its revival in senior high schools could create a pool of reserved military pawns that would, later on, be utilized by the government to inflict fascism and a false sense of nationalism,” Taggaoa said.

As what President Rodrigo Duterte has said before, military reservists will be used in their policies, which includes Oplan Tokhang, Oplan Kapayapaan, and Martial Law in Mindanao, Taggaoa pointed out.

Taggaoa further warned of the frequent entry and stay of the elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) inside the school campuses with the implementation of the ROTC.

The student leader expressed fear on the danger that students and schools would face given that those who will administer and run the ROTC are the same institutions involved in the implementation of Martial law and the anti-drug war Oplan Tokhang. (davaotoday.com)

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