Concerns grow over Philippine student military training plan

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Duterte wants to reintroduce cumpulsory Reserved Officers’ Training Corps program in all schools

Child rights groups and church leaders in the Philippines have voiced concern over a move to reintroduce compulsory military training for schoolchildren.

The Lower House of Congress last week approved a bill making the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program mandatory for Grade 11 and 12.

The proposed law states military training “shall apply to all students … in all senior high schools, both public and private.”

It added that the aim of the training program is to “instill patriotism, love of country, moral and spiritual virtues, and respect for human rights and adherence to the Constitution.”

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, however, warned against abuses that might result from the program.

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