Students protest to abolish ROTC after the death of UST ROTC cadet Wilson Chua in 2001 | Photo from Bulatlat.com

The fascist state proved its palpable fetish anew to militarize the youth when the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture passed the substitute bill that would impose mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12. The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) strongly opposes this desperate move to revive a program that would only legitimize abuses and its perpetuation in Senior High School. Above all, ROTC possesses an incomparable list of decadence and torture inside the school that even led to the death of Mark Welson Chua, a ROTC cadet from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) who exposed the corruption of his comrades in the unit. Despite of this well-known history of legitimizing violence, compulsory ROTC passed through the committee within the first few minutes of the hearing proving it as a done deal ordinance.

The Guild condemns Duterte’s obsession of utilizing the youth as machineries to support its kleptocratic rule. It is appalling to visualize how an entire generation of our students being lured to a totalitarian leader and are willing to maim progressive groups and worst, to harm fellow citizens in pursuit of satisfying their commander’s lust of power.

The Guild asserts that ROTC would only transmogrify our students into exploitable cannon fodder by continuously inculcating mercenary tactics as primary mode of upholding the nation’s sovereignty. What state has to address, however, is its malicious neglect in providing nationalistic, scientific and mass-oriented education that would produce hundreds of thousands of youth who value peace, possess high respect for human rights, and would pledge an unqualified support in joining the people’s struggles.###

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