With China already getting a foothold in Philippine territories in the disputed chain of islands in the South China Sea, Senator Richard J. Gordon reiterated anew his proposal to revive the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) in preparation for any attacks.
“We are challenged right now, and we should be prepared. I have been proposing the revival of the ROTC so that male citizens who are 18 years old will have military training. They can be asked to give six months military service. In other countries, citizens are even asked to give as long as two years,” Gordon said during the Commemoration of the 77th Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week held at Fort Bonifacio last Friday.
“Ang mga bata dapat marunong magsundalo. Dapat kaya nilang lumaban para sa bayan kung kailangan,” he added.
The senator was the guest of honor and speaker at the said event. His father, former Olongapo City Mayor James Leonard Tagle Gordon, was given a posthumous award as one of the heroes of World War II. He was assigned as a junior officer under the Intelligence Staff engaged in intelligence gathering and monitoring the Province of Zambales. He had the rank of a first lieutenant and joined the resistance on November 1, 1943.
Wanting to foster patriotism and nationalism among the youth, Gordon filed, last year, Senate Bill No. 1417, or the Citizen Service Act of 2017 which proposes to require all college students and those of technical vocational courses to undergo basic citizen service training.
Likewise noting that the country faces a buffet of disasters, both natural and man-made, Gordon stressed the importance of having an army of reserved officers who could be called upon and mobilized to assist in matters of external and territorial defense, internal security and peace and order, and disaster risk reduction and management. SENATE