Vice President-elect Sara Duterte is hoping that the mandatory Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) will be included in the next administration's priority legislative agenda.
"The executive and legislative agenda will be decided between the president and the Congress. I hope that will be included since marami namang pending bills diyan sa Congress with regard to that, iba-iba ang pangalan, iba-iba ang titlesm so sana masama siya," Duterte said at a press conference a day after she took her oath as the country's 15th vice president.
(I hope that will be included since many bills with regard to that are still pending in Congress. They have different names and different titles so I hope this will be included.)
The daughter of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte was asked if the mandatory ROTC would be included in the priority agenda at the House of Representatives once the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) becomes the ruling party.
Sara Duterte is the chairman of Lakas-CMD while House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez is the party president.
During the campaign period, Duterte said she would push for mandatory military service for Filipinos aged 18 years old if she wins as vice president.
Fears and concerns have been raised on the possible return of the mandatory ROTC after Duterte won in the elections and was picked by President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to lead the Department of Education (DepEd).
The mandatory ROTC program was scrapped in 2002 following the passage of Republic Act 9163, an act establishing the National Service Training Program (NSTP).
The law was passed following the March 2001 killing of University of Santo Tomas student Mark Wilson Chua allegedly by his ROTC handlers after he had exposed the corruption in the ROTC corps. —KBK, GMA News