FACT CHECK: Makabayan is not supporting mandatory ROTC

Jan. 07, 2023

CLAIM: Facebook page Diego Pagbabago posted several graphics using the logos of Kabataan and Gabriela Women’s Party in favor of the reinstatement of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for students. Some of the graphics showed placards with slogans saying “Yes to ROTC”.


The uploaded graphics do not come from any of the FB pages of Kabataan and Gabriela or from the Makabayan bloc to which the party-lists belong. The images used were also altered to mislead the public into believing these party-list groups have thrown support for the administration’s move to revive mandatory ROTC.


Last December 2022, a total of 276 lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted to pass House Bill 6687, known as the National Citizens Service Training Program (NCSTP). 

However, the Makabayan bloc vehemently opposed the proposal, which they called a “rebranded and deceptive version” of the ROTC program.

Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel, in a statement, warned that the NCST is a way of preparing students for combat. “Despite mixing other civic duties in the curriculum, it does not erase the fact that military training is part of NCST and it is being forced upon students without exemption,” he said.

The curriculum for the two-year mandatory NCST will be focused on civic duty inculcation, disaster response and management, and survival and safety techniques. Its graduates will be part of the National Service Reserve Corps and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Reserve Force. 

Meanwhile, the ROTC will remain optional, with a curriculum to be designed by the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The Makabayan bloc and other progressive groups have been asserting that true nationalism does not come from imposing blind obedience to state authority such as mandatory ROTC but through teaching History, community immersion and integration.

The FB page also uploaded other fake graphics of the Makabayan bloc supporting the budget for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and refusing peace talks with communist rebels. 

A fake graphic uploaded by another FB page claiming that the Kabataan Party-list supported the revival of ROTC was also previously fact-checked by Davao Today. 

Davao Today is part of #FactsFirstPH which brings together various sectors that are committed to promoting truth in the public space, and exacting accountability on those who harm it with lies. For those interested to join the initiative, email info@factsfirst.ph.

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