MANILA—Senator-elect Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said he will prioritize a bill making military service mandatory for Filipino youth, instead of just registering them for the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).
"Like other countries na pagdating mo ng 18 years old, obligado ka na mag-serve sa military for 2 years. Walang pakialam ang gobyerno kung anak ka ng mayaman o ng mahirap, kung sikat ka o artista ka. Maganda rin iyon," he said in an interview on UNTV on Wednesday.
The former police chief said this would improve the country's territorial defense.
"Itong mga kabataan na sige dakdak nang dakdak. Sila lang daw ang makabayan, ang Duterte administration daw ay Team China. Ako ayaw ko na agawin ng China ang ating bansa," dela Rosa said.
"Kaya gusto ko malakas ang ating territorial defense when it comes to foreign aggression, foreign invasion so kailangang i-prepare natin ang ating kabataan na mayroon tayong enough reserves, human resource reserves."
Last week, the House of Representatives approved on final reading a bill requiring ROTC training for senior high school students.