/ 21 March 2023

THE KABATAAN Party-list on Monday threw its support behind students who opposed the imposition of mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps.

The group confirmed that it received a report from students of the Philippine Christian University on the irregular policies of their National Service Training Program that forced students to take their ROTC course.

Based on the complaint, first year students of the College of Arts and Sciences and Social Work were left for several weeks without an NSTP instructor.

However, two weeks ago, the department announced that all students will undergo mandatory ROTC.

“If not for the resistance of first year students that compelled the department to enter into dialogue with them, some sections would not be integrated in already existing NSTP-CWTS classes,” the group said.

“Worse on March 18, 2023, an entire class of CASSW students were directed to join the ROTC session after their NSTP-CWTS instructor excluded them from the attendance roll call. Students were then gaslighted with false claims that ROTC and CWTS are the same,” it added.

It was also learned that one of the ROTC officers threatened that students will be punished if they disobeyed.

The youth organization condemned the mandatory ROTC policy being implemented in the PCU which it said violates the students’ democratic rights and welfare as well as the spirit of the NSTP law which supposedly gives students freedom of choice.

“We have also received similar reports of NSTP programs that offer only ROTC courses in other universities. Nationalism and discipline cannot be force-fed much less cultivated through blind and blanket imposition,” the group added.

“Kabataan Partylist stands with students in reiterating our opposition against Mandatory ROTC. Rather than bastardizing and then seeking the repeal of NSTP, the national government should focus on strengthening it,” the group said.