Monday, June 19, 2006

Now they’ve come for our soldiers too?

By Bobit S. Avila
The Philippine Star

Last Friday, we wrote about House Bill No. 5460 proposed by Rep. Eddie Gullas to bring back the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) for all male tertiary students enrolled in all private and public colleges and universities and to consequently repeal the National Service Training Program or Republic Act. No. 9163 which replaced the ROTC because today, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is an army of active and reserved Forces is now perilously lacking in reserve units.

Call it timely that I was watching my good friend Angelo Castro’s "The World Tonight" on ANC last Friday night when he came up with a report that a US company called Blackwater USA was recruiting Filipinos to go to Irag and Afghanistan. These recruits will form part of a "private army," which in my book is nothing but a "mercenary army" as they are being offered between $1,700 to $2,000 a month. To qualify, applicants must be ex-police or ex-military men. This proposal is quite enticing to our soldiers and officers simply because they would be getting good pay and yes, because anyway, in this country they are assigned to dangerous areas where the Abu Sayyaf or the NPA’s thrive.

They’ve come for our maids, our skilled and unskilled contract workers, then our nurses and even our linesmen… but now they’ve come for our soldiers too. If just even 10 percent of our soldiers respond to this call where will we get the people to replace them without the ROTC?

Meanwhile, we have an existing ban on Pinoys working in dangerous countries like Iraq or Afghanistan because we don’t want to see another Filipino being hostaged by terrorists and shown on worldwide television. So, what is our policy regarding those who would be recruited by Blackwater USA? Perhaps their families should be told of the danger that their husbands or children are facing if they accept this new role as mercenaries.

I think President Arroyo, who is also our Commander-in-Chief, should now push the panic button and return the ROTC before it is too late. We won’t have soldiers fighting the NPA or the Abu Sayyaf. We might as well let this country to be run by Jose Ma. Sison and his bunch of bloodthirsty commies!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i agree!!
tama lang na ibalik na ang ROTC!!!
wlang kwenta ang CWTS and LTS compare sa ROTC.. im a former CWTS student... (isang mlaking pagkakamali na un ang pinili ko!)