Sara Duterte to push for mandatory military service if elected VP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 19) — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will push for the imposition of mandatory military service for all Filipinos upon turning 18 years old, if she wins the vice presidency in the May polls.

"Gagamitin ko ang aking opisina (I will use my office) — Office of the Vice President — para kausapin ang ating (to talk to our) Congress and the Senate of the Philippines to make military service for all 18 years old, male and female, mandatory in our country," the mayor said during the UniTeam Alliance's virtual caravan on Wednesday.

Duterte said countries like South Korea and Israel have been requiring their citizens to perform military service.

Unlike the Reserve Officers' Training Corps or ROTC, she said training for individuals enrolling in compulsory military service would not last for just one weekend or a month.

"You will be given a subsidy, you will be asked to serve the country, doon sa ating (there in our) Armed Forces of the Philippines," she said.

Her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, has been pushing for the revival of the mandatory ROTC since he assumed the top post in 2016.

ROTC was made optional as one of the three National Service Training Program (NSTP) courses for college and university students.

The NSTP Act of 2001 was passed following the controversial death of ROTC Officer Mark Chua, who had published an exposé on alleged irregularities in the ROTC unit of his school, the University of Santo Tomas (UST), in its students' publication The Varsitarian.

His body was found floating in Pasig River, bound with packing tape and wrapped inside a carpet in March 2001.