IN PHOTOS: Youth groups hold protests to oppose mandatory ROTC
MANILA, Philippines – After the murder of 23-year-old Willy Amihoy, a freshman and Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at the Iloilo State College of Fisheries-Dumangas Campus (ISCOF-DC), youth groups took to the streets to express their opposition against the mandatory ROTC.
Amihoy was allegedly killed by his ROTC commander Elmer Decilao, 22, during an altercation after the freshman accused Decilao of stealing his wallet. (READ: CHR condemns killing of ROTC cadet in Iloilo)
Various groups linked this to what they call the "culture of impunity and abuse" in the ROTC amid current calls to make ROTC mandatory. President Rodrigo Duterte has backed up this move, arguing that it could further instill discipline and patriotism among young Filipinos.
The League of the Filipino Students said in a statement online that "the ROTC has inflicted fascism in supposedly secured school premises, in their desperate attempts to silence the youth and create a culture of impunity among us."
Kabataan Partylist also said in a statement that Decilao should be held accountable for committing a malevolent crime against a fellow student.
"Moreover, we hold the Duterte administration accountable for perpetuating a culture of impunity and allowing fascism to permeate our schools," Kabataan Partylist said.
Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Edgard Arevalo said that the killing of Amihoy was not related to the government’s ROTC program but was a 'plain criminal act' which stemmed from a personal argument. (READ: Killing of cadet not related to ROTC program – AFP)
Various organizations, groups and students organized indignation protests in Metro Manila, Iloilo, Baguio and Cebu. Here are some of the photos from the protests: