VICE presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte wants to make military service mandatory for all Filipinos once they turn 18.
During the pilot run of Sara All For You Metro Manila Caravan, Mayor Sara said she will ask Congress to consider her proposal once she wins this year’s elections.
“”Hindi po ROTC lang, dapat po pagtungtong mo ng 18 years old, you’ll be given subsidy, you’ll be asked to serve our country, doon sa AFP,” she said.
Meanwhile, she defended her stand on this matter after another vice presidential candidate Walden Bello reportedly interpreted it as “a mask of moment for the dictator-in-waiting.”
Mayor Sara, chairman of Lakas-CMD and Hugpong ng Pagbabago, told Bello that her vision was not only to push for mandatory military service for the youth.
She stressed that an 18- year-old is definitely not a child.
“Only the likes of Mr. Bello would think of mandatory military service for its citizens as arming them and telling them to kill — instead of looking at it as something that inspires patriotism in the youth,” Mayor Sara said.
“If only he wasn’t so quick to react, he would have realized that I also emphasized the need for the youth to be prepared for disasters and become proactive community partners in rescue operations and in aiding victims of calamities,” she added.
The presidential daughter added: “I truly hope that our youth do not grow up to be a Walden Bello — an ungrateful citizen who sleeps peacefully at the comfort of their homes, unable to say a prayer or a silent ‘thank you’ to the men and women who became martyrs while countering violent extremism, insurgency, and terrorism.”
For Mayor Inday, the youth should also play active roles in advancing their own welfare — particularly in the aspect of health, education, gender equality, and reproductive issues.
“I wanted them to be able to stand on their own, help themselves, help the communities, and help the nation. If only Mr Bello did not stop at what he has been so stuck in over the past many years dictatorship in the Philippines, something that we know is a lie in the present time — he would have a better understanding of what I truly stand for,” she said.