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STATEMENT: NUSP condemns Dutertes mandatory ROTC in Senior High School


8 February 2017

Reference: Mark Vincent D. Lim,

NUSP National Spokesperson (+63) 917 565 4963

In the heels of President Dutertes latest pronouncements, the National Union of Students of the
Philippines (NUSP) once again registers its vehement opposition to the revival of mandatory ROTC for
Grades 11 and 12. The NUSP stands firm that the ROTC program is nothing more than a fascist tool of
repression used by the state to instill a militaristic mindset among the Filipino youth.

The Filipino students have nothing to gain from this proposal. Contrary to the claims of its advocates,
the ROTC program does not teach nationalism and discipline to students. Rather it seeks to perpetuate a
culture of blind obedience and impunity that is inherent to the program. The explicitly fascist and feudal
relations between officers and cadets is a testament to this NUSP National Spokesperson Mark Vincent
Lim said.

It cannot be stressed enough that the history of the ROTC program is one that is laden with corruption,
violence, and abuse. Since its inception, it has continuously violated the democratic and academic rights
of Filipino students. Lim said.

****We should never forget the murder of UST Student Mark Welson Chua in 2001 at the hands of
ROTC officers. He was killed in retaliation for exposing the corruption and malpractices of the ROTC
program which includes the harassment and surveillance of progressive students and organizations in
the university. Lim said.

Chuas murder paved the way for the passing of RA 9163, also known as the NSTP Act of 2001, which
made ROTC optional for college students. However, contrary to the claims of reforms being made after
2001, the culture of violence and impunity still continues. It is unsurprising then that rights violations
still continue. Lim explained.

In 2014, hazing reports were exposed by two female cadets in PUP students. As punishment for their
non-attendance, they were hit with wooden sticks and wooden rifles several times. By no means was
this an isolated incident. That same year, students of De La Salle University exposed the physical and
sexual abuses they were put through during their time in the ROTC.****

****In 2016, several videos trended online showing ROTC officials severely hazing cadets in University
of Mindanao Tagum City. That same year, allegations of sexual abuse in the ROTC program of Benguet
State University also came to light. Such abuses have led many progressive youth organizations to call
for the abolition of ROTC.

The NUSP also stated that the ROTC is also used to justify the presence of military forces in universities
and colleges, a violation of the Sotto-Enrile Accord that prohibits military and police presence in the
premises of educational institutions.

This latest policy is especially bothersome once we put it into the context of the Duterte
administrations series of extra judicial killings and intensifying fascism. Its so-called war on drugs, the
cancellation of the GRP-NDFP peace talks, and now this. All of these seek to create an atmosphere of
fear among the Filipino people. We call on youth and students to mobilize and show our opposition in
mandatory ROTC Lim concluded. (NUSP)


Militants slam ROTC in Senior High School


A left-leaning student group on Wednesday denounced the return of a mandatory Reserve Officers
Training Course (ROTC) for Senior High School (Grades 11 and 12) students.

The students stood up against the ROTC program. Through protests and collective actions, mandatory
ROTC was removed from college. We have voiced opposition against the proposals of reviving it in
college. But even President [Rodrigo] Duterte had the gall to approve the program in Grades 11 and 12.
This is unacceptable. It is an insult to the victims of the violent program and the students who fought
against it, JP Rosos, national spokesman for the League of Filipino Students (LFS), said in a statement
after Duterte on Tuesday approved the ROTCs return.

The ROTC is bankrupt to its core. It instills fear and blind obedience stemming from its fascist and
corrupt nature. It must never be revived, Rosos added.

He said it is foolish to think that ROTC through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) can teach

The ROTC through the AFP can never instill genuine love for the country. The AFP is the same
institution that celebrates the incursions and violations of our national sovereignty committed by US
imperialism and its allies. It is even the first one to defend the port visits and military exercises of US
troops in Philippine territory. Worse, the AFP proudly defended the basing of US forces inside our
country through EDCA [Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement] and other lopsided agreements.
What love for the country can the AFP teach when they are the ones who welcome the re-occupation of
foreign entities in the Philippines? Rosos added.

According to him, the ROTC holds an abusive and violent history.

He pointed out that the core of the program relies on physical, verbal and psychological abuse.
The ROTC is far from instilling discipline. Through abuse and violence, it instills fear and blind
obedience, not any sort of discipline, Rosos said, adding that the program has always led to countless
infringement of student rights.

He recalled the case of Mark Welson Chua from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

Chua was killed after he exposed corruption in the ROTC at the university.

Rosos added the case of two female students from the state-run Polytechnic University of the
Philippines in 2014.

He narrated that these students suffered hazing and corporal punishment from their officers.

Rosos cited video of student cadets from the University of Mindanao-Tagum who were being punched
repeatedly in the chest and stomach.

Several cases are being reported that student cadets are being violated and abused by their officials.
This is not discipline, just plain violence and abuse of power. The ROTC is nothing but fascist machinery
that needs to be taken down, he said.

Through the ROTC, according to him, military troops are allowed to enter universities and colleges
violating the LFS-DND [Department of National Defense] Accord.

He said some military personnel also go as far as basing themselves in schools that violates various
international humanitarian laws.

It is also foolish to think that such violent and abusive program will be able to teach discipline and love
for the country. It is impossible, Rosos added.

If the government really wants to teach love for the country and instill patriotism, then the government
should give more time in discussing the history of the Filipino people and our struggle for national
liberation. Also, a fascist program like the ROTC can never teach critical thinking to our students a
necessary skill needed for the patriotic spirit to flourish among the youth, he said.



1. The abolition of the ROTC program is a stepping-stone in ending the vicious cycle of irrelevance in our
education. It is a necessary and urgent democratic reform that must be implemented to make our
education more susceptible to the needs of the students.

2. The ROTC program has failed in promoting patriotism and nationalist consciousness among the youth
but rather instilled the sub-culture of fear, violence and hatred among the broad ranks of the students.
3. The ROTC program has its foundation rooted in severe corruption. The program is nothing but a huge
money-making industry thriving at the expense of the students. It is a major source of corruption and
malpractice done by unscrupulous groups and protectors of this venal program.

4. The ROTC is an added unnecessary burden to us students and our parents. As if the rising cost of our
education and other school fees are not enough, we are being made to pay more for our own

5. The ROTC is a bastion of human rights violation. The students are being tormented ranging from
direct physical mistreatment to psychological abuses.

6. The program is outright discrimination and sexism. It directly discriminate and ostracize the gay
student community because of ROTCs excessive machismo and anti-gay character.

7. The ROTC program is undemocratic. The Philippines is one of the very few countries where
conscription and forced military training are practiced. The United States, which influenced our country
to institutionalize the ROTC, never made it mandatory.

8. The ROTC promotes a distorted sense of leadership. Students are molded in becoming more active
stakeholders of our country but on the contrary we are being exposed to bankrupt politics of status and

9. The ROTC is a futile exercise. It failed miserably in teaching students the basics of military training.
Year after year, students graduate from this program without any clue what learning have they gained
from ROTC.

10. The ROTC program was given all time in the world to reform and make itself more relevant to the
aspirations of the students but all in vain. Simple reforms and dole-out concessions will not preserve the
whole integrity of the institution.

Members of AKBAYAN Youth, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines, and Movement for the
Advancement of Student Power handed this flyer to us, the said organizations and groups don't have
any affiliation with this site.


Mandatory ROTC? How about no?

'What we need is a better path for the socio-civic involvement of the youth, a path that is congruent to
the challenges of the changing times'

Marjohara Tucay

Published 5:58 PM, August 02, 2016

Updated 5:58 PM, August 02, 2016

Palace officials have begun deliberating the move to reinstate the mandatory nature of the Reserve
Officers Training Corps (ROTC), with President Rodrigo Duterte's cabinet including the topic in their
fourth regular meeting on Monday, August 1.

This move follows Dutertes pronouncement in his first State of the Nation Address that there is a need
to strengthen ROTC to instill love of country and good citizenship.

Moves to reinstate mandatory ROTC are not new. Since the passage of Republic Act 9163 in 2002, which
made the ROTC program only one of the options under the National Service Training Program (NSTP),
militarymen-turned-legislators have continually pushed for the reservist program to be brought back to
its glory days.

Backers of the move to make ROTC mandatory again argue that it would help teach discipline and
nationalism. Others, like newly-elected Senator Win Gatchalian, turn to the escalating sea dispute in
the West Philippine Sea, saying that the revival of mandatory ROTC would help drive the point that
although we are a small nation in economic and military terms, we will never back down from our fight
for sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea."

While these arguments may sound good at first, both do not necessarily hold water under closer

The militarist argument

First, supporters of the mandatory ROTC link the issue to the West Philippine Sea, arguing that it will
ensure that the nation has enough military reservists if ever the dispute escalates to war.

However, such line of thinking implies that sooner or later, we have to face off with China, that war is
inevitable. It undermines current diplomacy measures being undertaken by the national government to
resolve the dispute.

More importantly, ramping up the ranks of military reservists through mandatory ROTC does not
necessarily translate to a stronger armed forces capable of defending Philippine territory if push comes
to shove.

The move does not answer the fact that we have a vastly dilapidated territorial defense system, no
thanks to the corruption-ridden AFP Modernization Program which, to date, has spent almost P100
billion for procuring mostly refurbished equipment.

In a way, the mandatory ROTC campaign may even be viewed as a smoke-and-mirrors move meant to
placate longstanding criticism on our territorial defense capabilities.

A violent past

Making ROTC mandatory again is also not tantamount to magically instilling nationalism in the Filipino
youth. In contrast, the program has in fact led to countless violations of students rights.
The ROTC program has long been criticized for being an avenue for continuing abuse and violence
against student cadets. In our education system, in fact, no other education program holds the most
violent record.


It should be remembered that RA 9163 or the NSTP Law was passed precisely due to the strong backlash
against the murder of University of Santo Tomas student Mark Welson Chua, who was killed in January
2001 following his exposition of the corruption in the UST ROTC program. Since the passage of the NSTP
Law in 2002, the violence surrounding the ROTC has not dissipated.

Back in 2014, students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines reported acts of violence
through hazing and corporal punishment being committed by PUP student officials. Two of the victims
were female.

More recently, a viral video from the University of Mindanao-Tagum showed student cadets being
punched repeatedly in the chest and stomach. These acts of violence continue, despite the reservist
program being optional at present.

Instilling nationalism?

Finally, there is a need to address the notion that ROTC will be instrumental in instilling nationalism.
Such view limits the definition of nationalism as being able to defend the nation by learning to wield a
gun, a definition that is bereft of historical and social context.

When the 1986 Constitutional Commission was deliberating on Article XIV of the 1987 Constitution,
Commissioner Rene Sarmiento said that there are at least three dominant definitions for nationalism
the barangay-Tagalog nationalism which refers to regionalist notions; the tinikling nationalism which
reduces nationalism to mere symbolism; and a third, more comprehensive type, which he discussed as

Filipino nationalism is the determination to uphold the sovereignty of the Filipino people, the right of
the Filipinos to freely decide the destiny of the nation that is, the kind of government we should have
and who should run it; what is the common good and how to attain it; how our society should be
structured; how the wealth of our land and seas should be used, developed and shared; and how our
culture should be preserved and enhanced. Filipino nationalism is more than patriotism. It is more than
the love of land and people, loyalty to flag and country and readiness to sacrifice personal interest for
the common good. It is the firm resolve never to allow our people to be dominated, controlled by
foreign powers or domestic tyrants and to oppose totalitarianism, imperialism, and hegemony with all
the means at our command.

That third type of nationalism, the kind of nationalism that the framers of the Constitution envisioned
when they wrote the Article XIV Section 3 (2) which mandates all educational institutions to inculcate
patriotism and nationalism, is precisely the type of nationalism that the ROTC cannot teach.
For that type of nationalism precisely mandates schools to inculcate, for the large part, a sense of
volunteerism, for students to pursue worthy advocacies and even activism. What the framers of the
Constitution envision is not only an army of young reservists, but a generation of youth ready to battle
against societys ills, including poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and to a higher level, foreign domination in our
countrys economic affairs.

What we need is a better path for the socio-civic involvement of the youth, a path that is congruent to
the challenges of the changing times.

That path simply does not lead to ROTC. For how can a program that the AFP once used to install
student intelligence networks meant to infiltrate and spy on student organizations and advocacy
groups lead to active socio-civic engagement of the youth? How can a program that still cannot rid itself
of its violent past post as a solution to apathy?

Clearly, mandatory ROTC is out of step with the changing times, and the changing needs of the nation.

Marjohara Tucay is the national president of Kabataan Partylist.


Student groups oppose making ROTC mandatory again

By: Aries Joseph Hegina - / 01:55 PM August 03, 2016

Youth groups have urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his decision to push for the passage of
a law making the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory again.

The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) and militant group Anakbayan both expressed
opposition against the said move.

NUSP spokesperson Kevin Castro said that instilling discipline among the youth can be done without
resorting to a mandatory ROTC program.

The unpopularity of bringing back mandatory ROTC remains significant as students, parents, and
school officials are highly convinced that it is not only through that program wherein the youth can be
instilled discipline and good citizenship, Castro said.

Castro cited cases where alleged abuses have been committed against students who are enrolled in the
ROTC program, such as the 2014 case of two female cadets from the Polytechnic University of the
Philippines who were hit with wooden sticks and rifles after they failed to show up in one of the ROTCs
events; and the alleged hazing done to cadets by ROTC officials in University of Mindanao Tagum
which was caught on video and has become viral online this year.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan national chairperson Vencer Crisostomo not only thumbed down attempts to
make ROTC mandatory but has called for the programs abolition.
ROTC should be abolished, not made mandatory. The program has never instilled nationalism, social
responsibility, or discipline. It is a training ground for fascist repression and corruption, Crisostomo

He said that hazing and abuses will only get worse if the ROTC becomes mandatory again.

ROTC is no longer mandatory and yet the rampant violence and abuse of students rights under the
program continues. The program is even used by active duty officers to conduct military surveillance in
various schools. This will only get worse if ROTC is made mandatory, he added.

Last Tuesday, Dutertes chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, said that making ROTC mandatory again
was one of the topics discussed during Mondays Cabinet meeting.

Duterte allegedly wants to make ROTC mandatory again to instill discipline and love of country
among the youth.

Wala na raw disiplina yung young generation kaya na-aadik sa drugs. Walang spirit of love of country
(The young generation he said has no discipline so they become addicted to drugs. Theres no spirit of
love of country), Panelo was quoted as saying.

The National Service Training Program (NSTP) Act, which was enacted in 2002 under former President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, made the ROTC optional and voluntary.


No to mandatory ROTC; no to state terrorism, bossism on campus

By Tomas U. Santos - August 25, 2016

WHEN President Duterte announced his intention to strengthen the Reserve Officers Training Corps
(ROTC) during his first State of the Nation Address last July 25, many interpreted it as a call for the
revival of the mandatory ROTC program for college students.

The reservists will be mobilized for information campaign against drug use and the dissemination of
information regarding drug rehabilitation programs being offered by the government, President
Duterte said. Let us also strengthen our ROTC Program to instill love of country and good citizenship.

As a result, newbie Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) are
pushing for the restoration of mandatory ROTC. In addition, theres the pending House Bill No. 2338,
which seeks to make ROTC a pre-requisite for graduation in all college programs as well as vocational
and technical courses.
Ched Chair Patricia Licuanan said the commission would create working group to review the existing
ROTC program and recommend options to strengthen it.

Licuanan still has two years as Ched chair based on her 2014 appointment by the former Malacanang
incumbent and for an educator who had come from the private education sector, she seems overeager
to keep her post by sidling up to the new government, never mind basic and bottomline principles, just
as she did with the previous one that pressed through with the K to 12 despite the lack of safety nets for
those who would be affected by it, especially higher-education institution (HEI) teachers. So much for
Licuanans sycophancy and lack of nobless oblige.

In any case, Duterte has all the wrong reasons for restoring mandatory ROTC. If he wanted the ROTC to
help in his anti-drug information campaign, he could do that with already existing structures in the HEIs.
ROTC as it stands now is one of the three options under the National Service Training Program (NSTP)
for HEI students. Couldnt the anti-drug campaign be disseminated and promoted not only in the
optional ROTC but also in the more popular literacy and civic welfare programs?

Going by the results of the anti-drug campaignhundreds and now thousands of alleged drug pushers
killed en mass in what are suspected to be summary executions of small fry while drug lords and their
protectors in the police, military and government are given official warning and even pleadings and thus
the big guns are generally treated with kid glovesthen the Duterte administration does not need a
mandatory ROTC to help it in its charade. Huwag naman sanang masyadong garapalan!

The President should be reminded that it was because of the same example of state terror and
corruption that led to the abolition of mandatory ROTC. It should not be forgotten that the ROTC
became an avenue for irregularities, including hazing, physical abuse, extortions and corruption. These
unsconscionable practices led to the killing of UST ROTC cadet Mark Welson Chua in 2001. It was Chua
who filed a complaint with the Department of Defense over irregularities in the ROTC; his complaint was
reported by the Varsitarian and opened a can of worms in the festering program. Shortly afterward,
Chuas body was found floating on the Pasig Riverhis head wrapped with a silver packaging tape, his
hands tied with shoestring and his legs bound by a packaging tape.

The perpetrators? His fellow ROTC cadet officers who were sons of officers from the police and military.
His killers have been convicted in absentia; theyre still on the loose a dozen years after their sentencing.
One could only wonder why the police, military and the defense establishment have not brought them
to justice up to now!

The 2001 incident sparked campus unrest and caused colleges and universities to push for the abolition
of the mandatory ROTC. It was in fact USTvia its rector at that time, Fr. Tamerlane Lana, OPthat
initially called for the abolition of compulsory ROTC and rallied the University Belt consortium in calling
on Congress to act. As a result, Republic Act No. 9163, otherwise known as the National Service Training
Program Act of 2001, was passed, which made ROTC an optional one-year program.

We had thought that the move to restore mandatory ROTC had something to do with the need to
strengthen external defense as a result of Chinese bullying and territorial aggressiveness in the West
Philippine Sea. But Duterte and his pretender foreign secretary, Perfecto Yasay, are known to kowtow to

In any case, Duterte and his lackeys in Congress and sycophants in Ched should be reminded that even
as an optional program, ROTC has added tens of thousands to the reservist pool of the armed forces;
there are enough warm and young bodies to conscript in case of a sudden war with the nations
enemies. But that of course is merely false comfort when one considers that reservists may have been
poorly trained and lacked discipline. Look at the road-rage incident that resulted in the killing in Quiapo
of an unarmed biker in cold blood by an army reservist!

President Duterte must realize that the ROTC program is not the only avenue to foster nationalism,
patriotism and good citizenship.

The kind of military training, which historically has fostered the culture of political patronage, violence,
sexism and machismo, as one lawmaker puts it, does not cultivate love of nation and service to others;
it engenders twisted, even murderous, values as shown by the hateful history of the ROTC.

To revive compulsory ROTC would restore one dark legacy of Ferdinand Marcoss martial lawstate
bossism and terrorism on campus.