CLAIM: TAMA NA, a Facebook page, has claimed the Kabataan Partylist (KPL) supports the revival of the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program in the Philippines.
On August 24, the page first uploaded a graphic bearing KPL’s logo, a photo of a youth raising a placard that read “YES TO MANDATORY ROTC”, a photo of policemen outside the House of Representatives’ (HoR) South Gate, and the large text “KABATAAN PARTYLIST SUPPORTS MANDATORY ROTC”.
In another graphic, a photo of KPL Rep. Raoul Manuel was placed next to a quote, “Yes to mandatory ROTC.” A separate photo of him was placed in the background when he was holding a paper with the text “I support Mandatory ROTC”. A large text which read “KABATAAN SUMUPORTA!” was also written.
A quote, attributed to Manuel, is in the post’s caption, which claims the lawmaker calls on Filipinos to support the ROTC.
TAMA NA was created on October 14, 2018. As of August 30, it has 16,000 followers.
FACTS: The KPL and its representative have never issued any statement which supports the mandatory ROTC.
The two graphics posted by TAMA NA did not come from the said party-list group despite the presence of its logo, photos, and any similarity in color scheme. The placard’s text in the first graphic was even changed to mislead the audience.
The placard in the original photo actually read: “NO TO MANDATORY ROTC”. The said photo, posted by KPL over Facebook and sent to the media on August 22, was taken during a protest rally of student and youth organizations in front of the HoR, when they called on legislators to fund the safe reopening of schools and student aid.
In their statements, KPL maintained its opposition against the revival of mandatory ROTC for students.
“Inuulit namin na dagdag gastos, pabigat, panganib at abuso ang dala ng Mandatory ROTC. Magkaisa tayong isulong ang mas urgent na mga panukala tulad ng dagdag budget sa edukasyon, safe school reopening, at iba pa,” Rep. Manuel said in a statement on August 17.
(We reiterate that the Mandatory ROTC is an added burden and will only bring danger and abuses. We should be one in advancing the more urgent bills like the additional budget on education and safe school reopening, among others)
Davao Today has previously made a fact check that recalled the problematic history of the ROTC program.
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