May 23, 2024

The situation in the West Philippine Sea is quite volatile. It is getting worst by the minute.
The Chinese Navy is becoming more and more aggressive in driving away Philippine ships under the guise it is protecting the sovereignty of its country. Slowly but surely, its employment of violence borders an act of war.
On the other hand, the Philippine Navy is not budging a bit and is giving no quarters in its quest to assert its own authority over the dispute area.
Though the military capabilities of the contending countries are disparate and disproportionate, with China having a distinct advantage in manpower and technology, what is working for the Philippines is that it has allies, especially the United States of America, which committed to come to its aid in the event of an aggression by the former against the latter.
However, just because the U.S. and other countries committed to defend the Philippines in the event of a war with China, it does not mean that our country should exclusively rely on its allies to fight for it.
That is not the idea of the defense being envisioned by the U.S. and its allies.
The Philippines, too, must exhaust its resources and military to defend its territory before any aid may be extended.
An example is the war that is raging bet-ween Russia and Ukraine. While the U.S. has committed to defend Ukraine, it did so by extending only military armaments and logistics. And, even those are being paid for by the government of Ukraine.
In the end, Volody-myr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, and his people are waging a lonely war with the only assurance backing them is that they are being supported by the U.S.
In short, the U.S. is not fighting Ukraine’s war. If the Philippines is over-reliant on the defense treaty it signed with the U.S., it might end up in the same condition as Ukraine.
That is why, as early as now, while the war drums have not yet been sounded, the Philippine government must undertake ways and means to protect itself from any eventuality that may happen in the West Philippine Sea, especially so that China President Xi Jin Ping already cautioned his own military to prepare for a confrontation.
A survey was recently conducted on whe-ther able bodied Filipinos are to willing defend the country in the event of a war against China.
An overwhelming majority resoundingly said “yes, we will die for the country.” If Filipinos are willing to die for the country, they must at least be prepared to fight in order to give them a Chinaman’s chance to survive any skirmishes.
This is where the proposed legislation reviving the Reserved Officer’s Training Corp (ROTC) becomes doubly significant.
In light of the imminent occurrence that somewhere and somehow in the future, we have to defend the West Philippine Sea against foreign intrusion, the military must have enough able bodied trained soldiers who can be mobilized to the frontline.
Soldiers don’t just go to war without any training in the same manner that doctors don’t operate on a patient without the proper skills. To send soldiers to war without any knowledge on how to defend themselves or the country is death by suicide. So, to arm them, they should be trained mandatorily.
The ROTC is the best expedient and most comprehensive way to militarily train, prepare and equip our people in compliance to their obligation to defend the country. Besides, even if there will be no war, the ROTC is a good way to instill discipline and patriotism in the hearts of our citizenry.
Hence, while there is lots of time to prepare, the ROTC program should be immediately instituted so that our youth shall be oriented on the importance of defending the nation.
It will come in handy for the future of the Philippines and the Filipinos.