Vice-presidential aspirant Senator Kiko Pangilinan reiterates that mandatory military service is unnecessary and that young Filipinos should instead be encouraged to farm.

In a radio interview with a Baguio radio station, Pangilinan said that the funds that would otherwise be spent on mandatory military service should instead go to food security training.

“Tutol tayo sa military service. Hindi naman po military service ang priority ngayon at malaking halaga ang igugol diyan. Sa ngayon pa lang about P2 million to P9 million. Ang laking pondo niyan. Sa halip na dalhin sa military training, bakit di na lang dalhin sa food security training?” the veteran legislator said.

When asked about the possibility of war in the West Philippine Sea because of China’s continued intrusion, the seasoned lawmaker said that the key to resolving this is through diplomacy and exercising sovereign rights.

“Sa West Philippine Sea, hindi kailangan mauwi sa gera.”

“Sa West Philippine Sea, hindi kailangan mauwi sa gera. Ang mga nagsasabing gegerahin natin sila ay hindi tama,” the senator stressed.

“Yung Indonesia nga pinapasabog pa yung mga illegal Chinese vessels doon, hindi naman nauuwi sa gera. Diplomasya at pagpupursigi ng ating karapatan ang solusyon,” he added.

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Baguio City is home to Saint Louis University, University of the Philippines-Baguio, University of Cordilleras, and the University of Baguio. It is home to many college students who are potential candidates for mandatory military service training. In a 2018 census, 155,225 students were enrolled in city schools.

“Ang training ng ating kabataan, 2 million of them, dahil baka magkagera is not right.”

“Ang training ng ating kabataan, 2 million of them, dahil baka magkagera is not right. Hindi ito consistent sa mga nangyayari and obviously ginagamit lamang para majustify na wag tayong gumawa ng ano mang bagay na makagalit sa China,” said Pangilinan.

“Kalokohan yun. Hindi tayo nagsusunod-sunuran sa kanila. Atin ang West Philippine Sea,” he added.

Davao City Mayor and vice-presidential aspirant Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte with close ties with the Chinese government, is persuading Congress to make military service mandatory for all sexes who are at least 18 years old — just as her father originally planned.

In a survey among the youth, 34 out of 35 students or 97.1% disagreed to enter mandatory military service.

In his first year as senator, Pangilinan was among those who replaced the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) with National Service Training Program (NSTP) after the program became a source of rampant corruption and abuses which led to the death of a cadet officer in 2001.



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