MANILA, Philippines — Robin Padilla announced on Monday, June 3, 2019 that he plans to join the Philippine Army amid the administration’s push to reinstate the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program as mandatory for young Filipinos.
In a post, Robin said he was planning to do so because he didn’t want to “abandon” the Filipino youth.
On the same day as Robin’s post, President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent a bill that would make ROTC mandatory for students in Grades 11 and 12. The 17th Congress, however, closed without the bill being passed into law.
On Instagram, Robin wrote: “Mga kabataang Pilipino, sasamahan ko kayo mula umpisa hanggang sa huli. Papasok ako sa Philippine Army Reserve para sa inyo upang masundan ko ang bawat ninyong hakbang tungo sa kabayanihan. Saan man tayo makarating hindi ko kayo pababayaan! Tayo’y huhubugin ng Hukbong Sandatahan ng Pilipinas!”
(To the Filipino youth, I will join you from the beginning until the end. I will enter the Philippine Army Reserve for you, so I can follow your every step on the way to heroism. Wherever you go, I will not abandon you. The Philippine Military will discipline us.)
“Sabi nga ni Lt. Colonel Hal Moore [As Lt. Colonel Hal Moore said] ‘I will always be the first one on the battle field, and I will be the last one to step foot off the battlefield. Not only will I be the last one off, I will not leave any of my soldiers behind.
“Hindi tayo iiwanan ng AFP at ni Mayor PRRD mga mahal na kabataan, kaya’t tayo’y tumindig at bumangon ng nakataas ang dibdib at nakataas ang mga noo para sa Diyos! Para sa Inang bayan! Para sa Kapwa Pilipino! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang kagitingan ng ating Lahi! Mabuhay ang Katipunan!”
(The AFP and [Duterte] will not leave us, my beloved young people. So let us stand with our hearts and heads held high for God! This is for our Mother Land! This is for every Filipino! Long live the Philippines! Long live our courageous race! Long live the Katipunan!)
Duterte, in a letter sent to the Senate, said a law is required to restore basic military and leadership training for the Filipino youth “to invigorate their sense of nationalism and patriotism necessary in defending the State and to further promote their role in nation-building.”
Ironically, Duterte has often boasted of how he avoided ROTC training during his days as a student. — Rappler.com