Isn’t it ironic? Alejano agrees with Duterte on ROTC’s return due to Benham incursions
The Benham Rise issue has ironically placed opposition solon Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary Alejano on the same page as President Rodrigo Duterte as far as bringing back the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program is concerned.
“Every Filipino should be ready to defend the country as mandated by the Constitution, including myself. This would have been the best opportunity to strengthen our reserve force and reinstitute mandatory ROTC among the youths of the land,” Alejano said in a statement early Tuesday (March 21).
Last February, Duterte bared his plans of incorporating the ROTC program in the curriculum of senior high school students.
Such will be done by proposing an amendment to Republic Act 7077 or the “Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act.” This obviously entails Congress action.
What Alejano and Duterte doesn’t see eye to eye with is the latter’s anemic defense of the Philippines’ territorial rights against Chinese incursions, particularly at the allegedly resource-rich Benham Rise landmass which is within the country’s exclusive economic zone.
The opposition solon insisted that the Duterte administration is not as helpless at it claims and could always choose to assert the country’s rights and defend its territory.
“Hindi po totoo ang sinasabi ng ating Pangulo na wala na tayong magagawa. Sa katunayan, marami tayong pwedeng gawing non- military and non-confrontational options, ayaw lang niyang gawin,” ex-mutineer soldier Alejano said, referring to “Digong.”
Last week, Alejano filed the first ever impeachment complaint against Duterte, but over other issues.
If anything, the congressman said he would be “more than willing to fight for the country” should the continued incursions of mighty China in Philippine territories lead to war.
“Ang pagsilbi sa bayan ay hindi na po bago sa akin. I am more than willing to fight for this country, to lead our troops against China, or any other foreign intruder,” he said. #