A netizen wrote a lengthy open letter addressed to the critics of The Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) pointing out the things he learned after completing the said program many years ago.
Noel Sarifa, author of some of the viral pro-government posts told the critics that they should know the objectives of the ROTC before complaining on the recent plans of the government to make it mandatory again for Senior High School students.
Sarifa, who’s a product of Citizen Army Training (CAT) during his high school days and an ROTC finisher during college said that it’s already the right time to bring the program back because he believed that it will teach the youth several valuable lessons.
According to him, ROTC teaches him how to respect other people, survival skills, first aid, and other military-related skills.
He learned how to become selfless when it comes to saving or defending other people and the country.
Sarifa pointed out that if the critics are afraid that there would be corruption if the ROTC became mandatory again, they should also push for the removal of the government and party-list system because he believed that irregularities are also rampant there.
He also told the critics that they should not let the majority of the people suffer because of some isolated incidents happened during the past implementation of ROTC.
Instead of stopping ROTC, Sarifa suggested that the critics should condemn the alleged recruiting of students committed by New People’s Army.
You can read his post below:
“Lahat ng nagrereklamo about ROTC halos hindi naman nakaranas, sana bago kayo magreklamo alamin nyo muna dun sa naka-experience kung ano ba naidudulot nito sa kanila bago kayo magsilabasan sa kalye para magrally. They are crying that ROTC will not teach them patriotism. Will not teach them how to use guns. Well, to tell you the truth you are very wrong.
Produkto ako ng CAT (Citizen Army Training) noong highschool at isa ako sa last Batch ng ROTC noong college. Adjutant/S1 ako noong Highschool and Member ako ng Special Force noong college. Gusto nyong ipaglaban ang WPS pero ayaw nyo maging handa sa bakbakan?
Ano-ano ba ang natutunan ko?
– Rumespeto sa mga officials, maging punctual. Maging leader, Maging responsableng mamamayan, survival skills, first aid, I learned how to respect and put importance to my uniform, my combat boots, my sword, my handkerchief a simple gesture that makes you value the symbolism of each. Eto rin ang daan para rumespeto ka sa gamit ng iba, hindi ito maaintindihan ng kabataan ngayon pero kapag ikaw ang binigyan ng sword ng senior mo, it means responsibility and an honor.
– Dito ko natutunan paano isalba ang mga tauhan ko kesa sa sarili, na unahin ang bayan kesa sa sarili, natutunan kung hindi maging makasarili kasi you don’t walk and talk as an individual but as a troop, as a leader as a Team.
– I learned how to use a rifle, M16 and Calibre 45. Not Just able to Disassemble and assemble a caliber .45 but learn how to use it. Yes, we are taught how to use real guns and did some firing session.
– You will learn to feel the real survival skills in case of war, how to defend yourself. You learn how to be tough with their spy war.
Overall experience? It is fun, worth remembering and life-changing. Was I abused? No! Mas minahal ko ba ang bayan? Yes! Was I ready to be in battlefield after that? Yes. Naapektuhan ba pag aaral ko? Sa awa ng Diyos honor student naman ako.
Kung ang reason nyo bakit nyo tinututulan ay gagamitin sa corruption, aba e di tanggalin na rin natin ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas kasi talamak dito ang kurapsyon, tanggalin na natin ang partylist di ba?
Kung nagagamit to ng ibang bansa para sa kanilang bayan at magiging problema sa atin, hindi ang programa ang problema kundi ang mga taong may masasamang loob. Imbes na pigilan nyo, magmungkahi kayo ng provision sa bill para maiwasan ang mga kinakatakutan nyo. If we are meant to stop for every mistake then we do not have the room to pursue our objective and move as a nation.
Bakit hindi nyo tutulan ang mga rebelde na manguha at mang recruit ng kabataan natin na binibrainwash sa maling idelohiya kung talagang yan ang hangarin nyo? Yun hindi yun isolated incident, norm nila yun.
ROTC, COCC/CAT is not just about physical training, hindi lang yan puro martsa at painit sa araw. We also have a classroom session, midterm, and final exam, practicum and community service.
Andami nyong hinihingi sa Gobyerno pero hindi nyo kayang magsilbi para sa bayan.
The proposed bill wanted to push for Civic training for Health Education, Environmental Protection, Disaster Risk Education and Management, human and civil rights awareness and law enforcement. E sasabihin nyo pwede naman e discuss yan sa classrooms kasama ng saklaw na subject. ROTC will be more on practical application which is more essential than just acquiring theoretical awareness. ROTC will instill discipline, respect, teamwork, and skills. Mga bagay na kapakipakinabang kapag sumabak ka na sa buhay out of school.
We need it more today kasi nawawalan na ng respeto ang mga kabataan sa kapwa at sa bayan. Nakatutok na lang sa mga gadgets, they need more physical activities. Kaming mga nakaranas ng ROTC ang magpapatunay na ginawa kaming mas makabayan at mas responsibleng mamayan ng programang ito. Natatakot lang kayo magkaroon ng sapat na lakas ng sandatahan ang bansa para mapuksa ang mga rebelde at mabawasan ang mga taong tulad nyo na wala naman talagang pagmamahal sa bayan kundi sa perang nakukuha nyo sa paglabas sa lansangan.”
Several days ago, the lower house approved the revival of the mandatory ROTC and it would be a requirement for Senior High School students to finish it before graduating.
While many criticized the said proposal, the bill also gained supporters from the netizens and some politicians.