The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino youth and people in opposing the proposal to revive the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC) as a requirement for college students. That bringing back ROTC will “instill discipline and love of country” is a fascist notion that must be opposed with all-out effort.
Only the absolutists will insist that the Filipino youth and people lackdiscipline. They want to revive the Marcos line “para sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan”, in order to instill blind obedience to state authority and submission to the will of the dictator. The revival of the ROTC will only lead to the fascist mind-conditioning of a new generation of Filipinos.
The only discipline that the ROTC will instill is one that is based on fear. The ROTC and bourgeois military training in general is fundamentally anti-democratic and based on robotic obedience to authority. It promotes dogmatism, zealotry, regimentation and acceptance of dictatorial systems.
At the core of bourgeois military training is the use of physical, verbal and psychological abuse. Hazing and torture in military training is not an excess. These are standard fare. It dehumanizes its trainees in order to prepare them to wage an inhuman war against the people and trample on the people’s rights with impunity. There is no way of preventing abuse under the ROTC without doing away with the training itself.
The ROTC will never instill “love of country.” The US-indoctrinated officials and men of the AFP can never be teachers of genuine patriotism. The AFP is the most reliable machinery of US domination in the country. It was formed and is continuously trained, supported and armed by the US military. The AFP has always been trusted to suppress forces which advocate protection of national patrimony and advance the struggle for national freedom. It is always the first to welcome and justify US military and political intervention.
A bureaucratic capitalist state will never inspire discipline. Corruption and crime in government and conditions of social crisis induces people to break the rules themselves. With his pronouncements expressing contempt for rules (especially in police operations as well as in government procurement), GRP President Duterte himself is inducing people to step on the laws and do away with discipline even as projects himself as being incorruptible.
Imposing discipline on the people while exempting oneself from rules make a dangerous combination for autocracy.
The CPP extends its all-out support to the Filipino youth in opposing the revival of the ROTC. It will do well for them to recall the history of the AFP as an instrument of foreign domination and fascist rule and how it remains beholden to the US military and continues to serve US geo-political interests in the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region.
They must rebel against the imposition of discipline by the oppressive and bureaucrat capitalist state and uphold self-discipline of genuine selfless service to the people.