Robin Padilla revives call for mandatory ROTC after China’s water cannon attack
MANILA, Philippines—The latest water cannon attack by the China Coast Guard against Philippine vessels has prompted Senator Robinhood Padilla to revive his call for a mandatory Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.
At a hearing in the Senate on Monday, Padilla questioned the readiness of the Philippines to defend itself from enemies.
He said it is very clear in the Constitution that all Filipinos should be prepared to defend the country at all times.
“Handa ba ang Pilipinas na ipagtanggol ang sarili nya? (Is the Philippines ready to defend itself?”) Padilla asked during the hearing on bills enhancing the country’s defense capabilities.
Padilla even cited how Ukraine is surviving the war against Russia because its citizens are helping the military.
“Ang malaking question para po sating lahat e kailan po ba natin talagang oobligahin ang ating mga kababayan na pumasok na dito sa military service kasi puro tayo reklamo,” said the senator.
(The big question for all of us is when are we going require our countrymen to enter military service, because we’re just keep complaining)
“Puro tayo salita, kulang tayo sa gawa. Sana sa pamamagitan ng pagdinig na ito ay atin na pong, in English ma-realize na tayo po ay namamangka sa isang ilog na napakalakas ng alon,” Padilla added.
(We’re all talk, we lack action. Hopefully, through this hearing, we will finally realize that we are sailing in a river with strong currents.)
Later in the session hall, the senator prodded his colleagues to support his proposed mandatory ROTC training.
“Hindi naman po kaila sa ating kaalaman na ang China, ang Tsino, ang kanilang military service po, ang kanilang reservist ay baka daanan lang tayo niyan, lakaran lang tayo niyan, ihian lang tayo niyan malunod na tayo,” he said.
(Given China’s military service and their reservists, they could just walk over us, urinate on us, and we could drown.)
“Ang sinasabi ko po mga mahal kong kasama sa Senado, kung ano po ang gigil sana natin dito ay pantayan natin ng aksyon natin sa apat na sulok ng Senado. Katulad po ng mandatory, kahit mandatory ROTC na lamang po sana, sana maihanda po natin ang ating mga kababayan at ganoon din po diyan sa imminent danger,” Padilla said.
(What I am saying is that the enthusiasm we have here should be matched by our actions in all corners of the Senate. Even with this mandatory ROTC, I hope we can prepare our countrymen and also address that imminent danger.)
The imminent danger he mentioned was in reference to a ground for the declaration of martial law, which he said was removed in the 1987 Constitution.
Padilla has been calling for the restoration of the said justification for martial law declaration.
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