MANILA — Instead of proposing mandatory military service training, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio should focus on people's issues, Partido Lakas ng Masa presidential aspirant Leody De Guzman said Friday.
During the "Pandesal Forum", De Guzman defended his running mate Walden Bello who was called an "ungrateful citizen" by Duterte Carpio.
Duterte-Carpio earlier said that she would push for mandatory military service for all adult Filipinos. Bello opposed the proposal, calling it a "mask off" moment for what he called a "dictator-in-waiting."
"Maraming problema ang bansa, maraming dapat harapin, bakit naman ‘yung pag-oobliga sa ating mga kabataan mag-military training ang kanyang iminumungkahi," De Guzman said.
(The country has many problems, why does she suggest forcing our youth to undergo military training?)
"Tama siya (Walden Bello) roon eh, like father, like daughter ‘yung nangyayari, kung ano ‘yung gusto ng tatay, gusto rin ng anak," he added.
(He (Walden Bello) is right, like father, like daughter, is what is happening, what the father wants, the daughter also wants.)
De Guzman enumerated issues that he said the city mayor should be focusing on instead.
"Maraming problema na dapat pag-usapan, problema ng kalusugan ng COVID, problema ng unemployment, mataas na presyo ng bilihin, ‘yung mga manggagawa hanggang sa ngayon ay kontraktwal pa rin, ‘yung presyo ng gasolina walang tigil ang pagsirit dahil doon sa batas o patakaran ng deregulation law ‘yun ang mga problemang dapat pag-usapan, ‘yung Rice Tariffication Law na nagpapahirap sa ating magsasaka, d’yan dapat sila magsalita," he said.
(There are many problems to talk about, COVID, health, unemployment, high prices of commodities, workers are still contractual until now, the price of fuel is rising... those are the problems that should be discussed, the Rice Tariffication Law that makes our farmers suffer. They should be speaking more on this.)
"Dapat sumagot sila sa kung ano ang kahilingan ng ating mamamayan at huwag mag-imbento nang mag-imbento ng programa na hindi naman kahilingan ng ating mamamayan o hindi naman pinoproblema ng ating mamamayan."
(They must respond to what our people demand and not invent a program that is not the request of our people or that our people do not have a problem with.)
The previously mandatory military training in college was made optional in 2002 following the controversy that resulted in the death of Mark Chua, a University of Sto. Tomas student.
The ROTC is now one of the three components of the National Service Training Program, along with Civic Welfare Training Service (CWTS) and Literacy Training Service (LTS).
Currently, military service in the Philippines is voluntary. However, Article 2, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution provides for the possibility of conscription during wartime.