Why ROTC is absolutely the wrong idea about what the Philippines needs

ROTC formation. (Photo source: Abante Online via Al Ropasas)

By JoeAm

President Duterte has proposed making ROTC mandatory for grades 11 and 12 in the Philippines. A number of notables like Senators Ejercito and Gatchalian have signed onto the idea, citing it as a good way to instill patriotism and discipline among the youth of the Philippines.

Excuse me!

You mean the rote instruction method whereby students are required to recite back canned lessons has not taught discipline? And all the flag ceremonies, anthems, and parades have not instilled patriotism?

Maybe we have a shallow idea about what patriotism and discipline mean, eh?

Patriotism and discipline for democratic states does not mean obedience.

It means responsibility.

Patriotism is our responsibility to the nation and fellow citizens.

Discipline means giving of ourselves, sacrificing a little of our personal comforts, for the unity that makes a nation safe and strong.

My impression is that the nation’s youth are not lacking in the ability to follow orders or work diligently. They are lacking the ability to motivate themselves in a way that benefits the State. ROTC is an attempt to use obedience (marching and shooting) to instill patriotism and discipline.

Imposing obedience does not instill patriotism. It instills boredom and lack of imagination and sloth. Patriotism requires inspiration and ingenuity and effort.

Imposing obedience does not instill discipline. It instills trickiness to get around the punishments. It inspires corruption and cheating and other ways to avoid the hassles. It inspires double-dealing and demanding that others do what we want or we will call them unpatriotic.

Patriotism and discipline are the people’s willing gifts to the State. They cannot be petulant demands by the State to follow the dictates of leaders who can’t do what they preach. I mean, the absurdity of leaders conceding Philippine Seas to China while demanding patriotism from youth is mind-boggling.

It is so mind-boggling that we can know for sure that the idea of ROTC is meant to ensure people do not disagree with such lunatic thinking. They will remain quiet if the Commander in Chief does crazy deeds because . . . well . . . because he is their Commander in Chief.

The whole approach is off the mark . . .

If the leadership truly wants patriotism and discipline, it should do two things:

  1. Clean up the State’s nonsensical, unpatriotic, undisciplined acts. Set a good example.
  2. Teach kids to read and think on their own.

They will quickly come to the realization that life is as much giving as taking, and the greater riches are in the giving.

The last thing Filipino youth need is more rote instruction as if they were little more than bots being marched around the football field by their masters.

If you want to extract two years of sweat-equity in the nation, require public service, built along a peace corp line-up of projects that students organize, fund, and carry out. Clean up the town. Recycle the plastic. Manufacture road signs. Organize book fairs. Go out and read to younger classmates and excite them about thinking for themselves, and giving, and solving problems.

Teach them to be giving souls rather than self dealers like the current batch of legislators and much of the nation.

But marching around the quad in spit-shined shoes and holding a straight salute whilst looking ‘eyes right’?

Absolutely the worst thing for Filipino kids at this time of the nation’s development. Or lack of development, as the case may be.

That’s my view.

Here is a nice (more calm) synopsis of the pros and cons of the matter by young Filipino historian Al Ropasas: “Reserving the nation: ROTC in the Philippines”

Please feel free to add your own thinking in the comment section of the blog that follows the article.


111 Responses to “Why ROTC is absolutely the wrong idea about what the Philippines needs”
  1. madlanglupa says:

    Brings me back more than 20 years ago. Unpleasant memories, wishing I was doing something more worthwhile than trying not to faint under the sun.

    The proponents of ROTC will argue that the program is patriotic and often cite valor of ROTC officers during WWII. But that was a different time. ROTC is and was a popular idea proffered by Marcosian fanatics who thought discipline is patriotic when… what good is ROTC if this leadership is flagrantly displaying its Sinomaniac tendencies, if not coddling its own coterie of “oligarchs” of questionable virtue and protecting grafters? That it displays loutishness?

    Love of country cannot be achieved by “discipline” and “obedience” but by setting a proper example by elders, including and especially those in government. Only a fool will die for a tyrant.

      • popoy says:

        BEFORE:– BASIC ROTC was required for first and second year college.

        AFTER: It is proposed to restore BASIC ROTC for grades 11 and 12, the equivalent of first and second year college before it was abolished. What’s the difference between the two requirements ?

    • There do need to be hierarchies, but structured along lines that inspire rather than teach servility. I see this as a huge psychological/emotional shortcoming in the Philippines, that so few are able to find self-fulfilling inspiration.

      • karlgarcia says:

        I fully agree.

      • I found science club field trips up the mountains where we saw insect species one can hardly imagine, or along the beach to catch sea creatures that glow at night, much better.

        The element of exploration – and self-discipline taught by the attendant hiking. Probably LCPL_Xs idea of making Filipinos travel their entire country like young Israelis do would make sense, combined with “civic service” / peace corps. “Build the country together” in practice, go the way VP Leni is going, would probably engender more unity than any fake appeals from above that breed cynicism. Maybe a one-year exchange student program – internally – would do the trick as well. Rizal’s Dapitan way but not as exile, of course.

        • Yes, very constructive. ROTC is teaching obedience, not critical thinking or sacrifice of oneself for others.

          • “Rizal’s Dapitan way”

            His place in Dapitan is now some national museum, Ireneo. But piggy back on my Emergency Response training below, Rizal had a group of local boys he taught in that estate (which he won via lottery), taught them fencing and liberal arts, but also taught them how to make dams and aqueducts, learn fauna/flora, etc. 1st aid too i’m sure, he was a trained surgeon.

            I don’t think the boys he taught ever responded to any emergencies, but I’m confident having trekked that whole small peninsula just behind Rizal’s estate they would’ve been ready.

    • Spocky Farolan was an ROTC Commander.

      Go figure. The program is not even real military service like they used to have in West Germany or before, not even defense training like Warsaw Pact countries had in school with real rifle training and bivouacs. It is just march in the tropical sun for hours in end.

      It attracts half-grown men like Farolan. Or Roland Cardemas. Or even sadistic hazers.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    It is true that it is better to teach responsibility.
    Force obedience induces cheating to avoid punishment;with responsibility you do not have to avoid the consequences if you are responsible enough to respect authorities.
    It is true respect is earned.

    Having said that I still believe that the world is not flat, there must still be hierarchies in the workplace at home,communities and society.

    • I respect rules – and authorities that respect their own rules. I was way too snarky (before the term was even invented) for my own good during Martial Law. Even if I said nothing my face gave away my contempt for most of those running things.

  3. “Excite them about thinking for themselves” – Joe, how “destabilizing” in a country where Establishment and “rebels” alike are, as Edgar already has said (and I dare NOT insult him by thinking independently, do I think I work for Rappler or what?) groupthinkers around Lodis. Jose Marti of Cuba said “The first duty of a man is to think for himself”. If Rizal ever said anything similar, I am sure the high priests of the archipelago would have destroyed it, much like the evil monk Jorge destroys Aristotle’s Book on Laughter in Eco’s Name of the Rose.

  4. chemrock says:

    To me, the ROTC is not a well thought through undertaking. It is a wishy washy endeavour with no clear cut objectives. My fear of ROTC is that, at the least there will be hazing grounds, at the worst, given the prevailing leadership, it will be hijacked for insidious propaganda purposes.

    Is the purpose for building patriotism and discipline?
    The discipline of a “Yes Sir, No Sir, two bags full Sir” ROTC environment may look good on parage grounds and in a structured hierachical organisation. Out of uniform and no longer bounded by regulation, the real nature of the creature walks. How many Seals and Red Berets are there who left sovereign employ to turn mercenary and took on less patriotic pathways that utlilise their special skills?
    Patriotism and discipline can never be taught. They are life expeiences that endear one to self-sacrificing mindset. That mindset can only come about if Filipinos see there is something worth sacrificing. That something is the freedom and capability to develop one’s capabilties to the fullest in an open playing field.

    The Dalai Lama has a simple solution – “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay ‘. If the state can offer this, patrioticism and discipline will rise naturally. “Ask not what the nation can do for you” is meaningless unless citizens have the power to achieve their goals and to help change their communities and the nation. Exhortation to serve will do little to foster patriotism if Filipinos see the public realm as broken.
    Is the purpose to build a citizen-army?
    Absolutely not, from the way it is organised.
    Firstly, if it were so, it is the most unequitible in organisation. It calls up only college kids. What about those who don’t go to college? What about those who are rich and go overseas for their studies?,
    Secondly, it involves students doing some basic stuff part-time. A student’s job is to study – PERIOD. Investment in the education of the young is one of the most important responsibilities of the state.
    Thirdly, you can’t build a full-time citizen-army on part-time training. You need full-time military training Yes Sir.
    Fourthly, ROTC means ‘officers’/ Where are the men for the citizen-army, and whereares the citizen-army formations after graduation? and PNP?

    Is the purpose to build a funnel for the AFP?
    The govt is proud of the statistics. It says a huge percentage of their officer corps came from the ROTC. If this were the objective, it must have been the most foolish enterprise which obviously have’nt computed the fiscal aggregate that went into it. Where would recruits for AFP and PNP come from if not from the various cohorts of college kids? If ROTC were mandatory how many of such recruits would come from there?

    • sonny might be able to say more.. he started writing a history of the AFP in my blog..

      I faintly remember that ROTC dates back to McArthur and is an American borrowing.

      I also recall that there was some sort of military service for non-college people before! (??)

      Of course the military changed in the Marcos years, grew bigger and fought mainly rebels.

      PNP was created only later by Cory out of the PC-INP of Marcos, PC was Constabulary.

      Constabulary was American era, a mixed bag of ex-Spanish officers like Rafael Crame!


      The only ones who touched real weapons during our CAT (Citizen’s Army Training, formerly Pre-Military Training) in High School were SCOs (School for Cadet Officers) in third year. They learned how to dismantle and clean an M-1, in theory, to practice it on exactly ONE M1.

      Seems there used to be enough M1s for even the “Cadet Privates” to go through the drill in 4th year, but they fell apart due to lack of budget. In that time AFP soldiers touted M-16s.


      Citizen armies – usually the training for citizen armed forces is around a year, I tihink that is what the Swiss have. They have refresher (reserve officer) trainings every few years, an opportunity for a bit of a break from the normal job for many, and networking for a lot. Every man who has been to army training has a rifle stored at home, and knows the code that will be broadcast on the radio or TV in case the fatherland has to be defended, and where to go. Travel guides for foreigners warn against joking about the Swiss Army – it can land you in jail. But then again, Switzerland is a highly democratic state, built on centuries of consensus. The men of their army see themselves as Wilhelm Tell’s legitimate descendants – no joke, folks.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Re: Sonny
        We exchanded sms, he went here but is back in the states.
        Unfortunately he spent most of his time here in the hospital.(pneumonia).
        I hope he is ok now and reading the blog

      • sonny says:

        Hi everyone in the THS! Much missed the smarts and intensity of the society. Pneumonia truly reminded me of a fastly aging immune system. Planned on meeting up with Karl. I think this was a third abortive try. Will keep on trying, Neph. 🙂

        ROTC was strictly confined to those schools in the know during Commonwealth times: UP, Ateneo, PSAT (Ph School of Arts & Trades), all original source institutions for manpower for the Commonwealth fledgling PH Armed Forces. Political leaders pretty much followed the design of MacArthur, Eisenhower, Ord, Quezon, et al.

        Cultural notes from my hospital confinement in La Union. Seems like the “good news” of Philippine educational training has reached hithertofore remote places: My Physical Therapists in hospital practicum came from Yemen and North Sudan. The medical care in this provincial private hospital (Lorma Hosp) is something to be proud of. Incidentally the assasination of Balaoan vice-mayor and near fatal attempt on the mayor happened while I was confined. The ER ably took care of the survivors.

        • karlgarcia says:

          Stay healthy, Unc!

        • sonny says:

          Much thanks, Joe and Karl. 🙂

          (casual observation: So. California ethnic diversity face – extreme; good news, so is food)

          • Yes, indeed. This Colorado farmboy learned where the best sushi, enchiladas rancheros, dim sum, and cuban cuisine could be had. I had to come to the Philippines to appreciate sisig, though, best when dished out by Mar Roxas. 🙂 And my wife’s menudo and of course lechon at celebration time. I got to see a cow roasted once, but the pig was better.

            • sonny says:


              Joe, you got to try Ilocano cuisine: dinuguan, dinengdeng (high-fiber, heavy-duty veggie: jute leaves, bamboo shoot shavings, malunggay, string-beans), pinakbet (vegetable stew: okra, eggplant, ampalaya, string-beans, squash, garnish w/either pork OR fish), goat triple-play: soursop, kilawen, kaldereta … (sigh, really haute cuisine; edgar can elaborate better 🙂 )

              • chemrock says:

                Spare me the balut please.

                I use to see this vendor next to a lotto booth at Glorietta. Fantastic business he had. Location was strategic — passers by, lotto buyers ((endless stream) and workers who loiter there to rest, coffee and cigarettes. Balut lovers pour vinegar onto egg and slurp it up. The vendor play his part by keeping the place clean, clearing lotto forms and cigarette butts. But alas, crab mentality was out. Glorietta management booted him out.
                after sometime.

              • Pinakbet is found on the menu of restaurants everywhere these days. My wife and kid pick out the squash and pork and I get the okra, eggplant, and beans. I’ve probably had dinuguan . . sounds familiar . . but I’m not good with the names. Kaldereta, yes, that’s delicious. I quit American food, in the main, when I discovered the range of flavors and healthiness of foods here. Although I am Filipino enough to consume way too much fat from the scrumptious pork.

              • ps, I’m addicted to my wife’s ampalaya, served every monday noon meal. The bitterness and pork juiciness are irresistible. Yummmmm!

            • sonny says:

              Believe it or not, this time out I convinced my bro-in-law to try it. He was a longtime hold-out on balut, although he’s not shy about any “new” food. I just told him, “smells, tastes like chicken; a little salt, forget squeamish for an instant, let the tongue decide.” He dug in and voila, he took in three on that sitting; I added, many balut-eaters take it with gusto with San Mig.

              On the vendor, I had business at a downtown Chicago office; I was 30 mins early, it was 25 deg F (below zero Celsius) outside; front desk told me to wait outside, not in the lobby (rule of the building). I felt really put upon. I wondered if city building code allowed such a rule on public passages. I went to a Dunkin Donut place instead to wait. Glorietta management should have been more humane and worked something out, e.g. allow for peak-hour convenience transactions for mall pedestrians & vendor, vendor moves on outside of those hours.

  5. edgar lores says:

    1. I underwent military training in high school for 1 or 2 years. Then in college, I had another 1 or 2 years. Can’t remember. It was 50 years ago.

    2. What I remember hating in high school was that my khaki uniform was low-waist… and had a broken zipper. In college, I hated the starched uniform, the white side wall haircut, the Sunday morning assemblies, the wooden guns, and the bivouac.

    3. I was dumbfounded to learn that ROTC had been abolished early this century. The unfairness of it all. I gnash my teeth at the injustice.

    4. One of my joys was to play the truant on training days. There I would be in my green uniform lining up to see a double feature movie show. I don’t know how many absences I had. There were so many… to the point that I feared I would not graduate. I made sure I would pass by joining the blasted bivouac. To this day, I have nightmares I didn’t finish college for failing ROTC.

    5. But for all that, I am in favor of some sort of military training. Compulsory training – as in Israel. For men and women. Yes, for the discipline. Yes, for the responsibility. But mostly for the notion that you owe something to your country. And that, if need be, you can be called for active duty to defend the WPS.

    6. I would have the training done in either Year 11 or 12. Students who proceed to uni should be free to concentrate on their academic studies.

    6.1. However, if the training is conducted in college, some career paths should be exempted. Medicine, for instance, and computer studies. The training would be just for one year. For lawyers, it would be for two years.

    7. People who fail to train or fail to complete their training would not be eligible to run for public office.

    • Edgar, it is nice if you are sent to WPS, a noble cause.

      What if, however, you are sent to Moroland to burn down villages? This was something I heard was a terrible matter for some PMA grads in the 1970s, from a reliable source.

      The story I heard about these persons was also hazings, older officers slamming the butts of their rifles unto the boots of fresh young officers (presumably 2LTs) to make them obedient. That there was an element of fear as well when they obeyed in razing Moro villages.

      • edgar lores says:

        Terrible ethical dilemma. I guess that happened under Erap?

        The Moro problem is primarily a political problem and not a military one.

        The exceptions would be the bandit groups like the Abu Sayyaf and the ISIS rebellion in Marawi.

        The model for compulsory military training would be Switzerland and Israel.

        The assumption is that the enemy is external.

        I doubt that there would be a call-up of the citizen army for the Moro problem or the NPA insurgency. I grant that it is possible. But the regular police and army should be able to contain these conflicts, especially the latter one.

        Nevertheless, one does not disregard the overall correct path because of exceptions.

        We partly dealt with the hazing problem when we discussed the film “A Few Good Men.”

  6. Over here the ROTC has a very specific mission to replenish the military’s officer corps, since the 5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_service_academies can’t replenish the majority of the billets.

    I don’t like the idea of forcing people to do what they don’t wanna do, but I do think military service is good for people in general. And since not all are cut out for military life, over here they have America Corps, for new college grads to explore career fields, work-off student loans and do community service.

    But my impression of ROTC over there was that it was only good for one thing, and that’s introducing young Filipinos to the system of corruption already in place. So the poor have to suffer thru the cruelties or simply bs of their ROTC minders; while the rich (and smarter) kids learn to bribe , sabotage and blackmail their ROTC minders.

    Since it’s only of high school and mandatory (?), I suggest not calling it ROTC, too military; call it Emergency Response training. 11th grade learn all the basics, ie. First Aid, triage, basic survival, learning terrain, etc.

    Then 12th grade should be a year long scenario based exercise, can be modular begin with week long exercises, then 2 weeks, and then month, then some culminating exercise (this Ireneo’s mention of my traveling the whole country could be on the table). it can also serve as a rites of passage (very important in Anthropology, no more rites of passages ).

    Google Robin Sage and other military culminating exercises for ideas.

    Read up on these guys, https://teamrubiconusa.org/

    Essentially, it should be community specific emergency scenarios, but nationalize the curriculum, like knot tying, flora/fauna identification for food/medicine, fire, floods, volcanic eruption, tsunami, earthquakes, crowd control, etc.

    So Joe’s high schools in Biliran would focus on say volcanic eruptions and i dunno hurricanes and floodings. 11th grade, teach the basics; then 12th grade do some exercises practical applications, hell if things actually happen, send them down range w/ professionals, ex. flood rescues, first aid, sanitizing dead bodies and dirty situations, etc. etc.

    All engineering is military engineering, the Romans taught us this.

    ROTC equals military; Emergencies (man-made or act of God), now those are more common— you don’t have Marawi’s all the time, but you guys are prone to natural disasters, which essentially were caused by humans, ie. bad drainage, de-forestation, etc.

    Google the White Helmets documentary from Syria.

    Maybe give this idea to Erin Tanada, he can partner up with Bam Aquino with his eSports to help out to gamify 12th grade exercises, add GPS to terrain learning , networking w/out electricity, all sorts of scenarios can be done. So it can also be connected to tech.

    Within Emergency Response training, you have travel, patriotism, discipline, teamwork, solitary work, creative thinking, critical thinking, plus some really applicable skillz.

    • Makes a lot of sense. The most fun part actually of our CAT in high school was the bivouacs.

      Not that they really taught us much that stuck, not even first aid! Camping we improvised I don’t remember real systematic teaching us how to put up tents properly.

      But the hiking was fun, that area (Siniloan) is where Mar Roxas likes to hike BTW. Not that they knew how to pace us properly, which shows that the whole thing needs professionalizing even when it comes to just the Boy Scout kind of stuff.

    • chemrock says:

      “But my impression of ROTC over there was that it was only good for one thing, and that’s introducing young Filipinos to the system of corruption already in place. So the poor have to suffer thru the cruelties or simply bs of their ROTC minders; while the rich (and smarter) kids learn to bribe , sabotage and blackmail their ROTC minders.”

      This is exactly my fear of what it will turn out to be.

      Irineo respect rules – and authorities that respect their own rules.
      Edgar don’t mind some military training.
      When the perception is incumbent leadership do not respect rules, ROTC then is a danger zone. I’m sure Edgar would not want to have anything with PNP.

      What I think is good is some sort of army cadet corps which is just some extra-curricula activity much like boy scouts or other service-oriented organisations. You can also have police cadet corps. These are strictly managed by the colleges, not the army or police. Certainly the army and police can be called upon for some support activities, but don’t put kids under the real man soldiers and police.

      • Ireneo, chemp…

        Yeah, I remember going to Yosemite for a week in junior high and loved it. There are native tribes that work hand-in-hand with each national park, I remember watching and doing some fire making and shelter making techniques, recognizing plants & animals. I think anyone around the world would enjoy camping, and if life skills could be imparted the better.

        I share your worries re police and military in-charge of high school kids, chemp. ROTC in college over here is very tightly controlled, most military personnel who run it are field grade officers. Now I think the closest situation if they do ROTC for 11th and 12th over there, would be military recruiters , over here when you say you were a military recruiter, it’s understood that

        you had a prime post (ie. target rich environment, 18 is not statutory but watch out for her family).

        So ensure no police and military get a hold of the kids. Most teachers won’t be qualified to do survival or emergency training, why not out-source it to pro’s , I’m thinking of Aetas and Badjaos who do this sort of stuff day in day out. Will incentivize private sector to create Emergency Training curriculum.

        (Fire department, Paramedics, Search & Rescue, I’m sure could use high school volunteers, especially when disasters strike.)

        Or ensure they too don’t handle the kids, and just train the teachers to be able to train the kids. But for these all-out scenario based exercises (ie. Robin Sage for the Green Berets) maybe private consultants could be hired, cheaper in the long run i’d imagine.
        They’ll hire actors and run the scenarios.

        Robin Sage is a long time tradition now where local towns folk actually participate as civilians with certain roles.

  7. bammy26 says:

    The reason why there is no patriotism in the Philippines? The media, the politicians, and the banks, have taken spirit out of modern life. The media, with their trashy tv shows showcasing nothing but shallow humor and their saccharine commercials. The politicians, with their gimmicks and their personality politics and promises. And finally, the businesses, with promotion of consumerist culture and the total hegemony of the market. All three combine to suck the desire to be in existentially intense situations, which is so essential to patriotism, out of modern man.

    • Yes, those forces are mind-numbing for their lack of anything earnest and valuable. Gimmicks, a way of life. Thanks for the clear description, problems that ROTC does not solve.

    • popoy says:

      If I may, THERE IS PATRIOTISM in the Philippines. There was BATAAN against a foreign invader and there was EDSA against a local invader and there will be more many more to come as the annals of love of country; i.e. if patriotism abhors subjugation.

      • I still get the feeling those that care about WPS and China, and are angry at Duterte selling out, are a minority today.

        Probably the kind of inculcated beliefs and values you had back then are as washed away as the topsoil of some of the denuded mountains in the Philippines, which no longer had trees to keep the rain from doing its work. I do not know what the majority cares for now.

        • popoy says:

          Washed away eh? Just you wait; for the homo sapiens Pinoy today, life is hard and harsh for those who did not fly for greener pasture earlier but negativity should not taint the passivity and inertia enveloping the society today. Pundits say what causes the ills of society today could be the same beliefs and values corrupted by forbears of the present generation. The Third Reich failed to erode and wash away the character of Germanic soul; so also are the basic beliefs and values of the people of the disintegrated USSR.

          The world is heterogenous in beliefs and values. Quite often permanence and resilience prevail over transience despite Alvin Toefler’s Future Shock. Many in the majority I can guess cares for Pangat and the next meal with the big minority caring only for the next high.

        • That last sentence is dynamite. I don’t know either. Simple comforts and the practicalites of not starving, I guess. Gossip. Just doing stuff.

    • chemrock says:

      It’s not really that bad. I remember in 1986 there were a few million patriots at EDSA.

  8. popoy says:

    JoeAm this is nice, useful and makes a contribution to autopsy by mostly Basic ROTC graduates a cadaver of questioned birth and demised. I am Vanguard’59 and only had idealistic volunteers malleable cadets experienced in the Model Company as platoon leader then Coy Cmdr. Todate I agree unchanged with the validity of the National Defense Act seemingly imposed by US General of the Army Douglas McArthur.

    As former ROTC Basic cadet I have no good or useful word for the mandatory Basic ROTC. To evaluate evaluations of compulsions may well be good for the public interest not the corps or army of disgruntled students. The DNA to an individual (he or she) of any national defense is to be well-trained to kill, to die if need be and to avoid being killed.

    One-track mind, canalized thinking, RHIP (rank has its privilege) and military mind are pejorative nomenclature levelled at military personnel. Military discipline according to General Capinpin is -awake or asleep–instinctive obedience.

    • I think that:

      1) the attitude to military has changed due to the Martial Law experience.

      2) the attitude of military has changed due to Martial Law. Closer than Brothers by Alfred McCoy shows the change from the old sense of duty to self-interested dealings at PMA.

      3) the attitude to certain men’s organizations in universities – and their attitude – has changed. Honorable in the 1950s, discredited by more hazing and bullying from Martial Law onwards. In general I think the descent of Filipino morality from 1950 until now is a topic for itself. 😦

      Patriotism is yet another topic, I think that has changed also.

      • popoy says:

        I simply interpret attitude as being FOR or AGAINST something or anything. some ELITE business organizations TRAIN for ATTITUDE and less for knowledge and skills for their new recruits. I’ll say more about this later.

  9. ROTC goes over very well because most of the youth have nothing else to look forward too. With nothing to lose and a guarantee of a hard life in front of you. It’s easy to see how becoming an ‘agent’ of the state can make one feel useful and/or patriotic.

    • Excellent point, Andre. Thanks.

    • popoy says:

      I no longer know what happened to the mandatory training of 20-year old out of school adults. They were the foot soldiers for war games led by 1st louie Peemayers and Advance ROTC graduates. I remember some kanto karancho (tambays) felt very proud (so was I) of themselves for wearing the uniform and all the best it meant for young men. In real life war games in the hinterlands, these young men morphed into CAFGUs. Sad.

      • “these young men morphed into CAFGUs” that is exactly the tragedy.

        Possibly just one aspect of the originally intact but later corrupted values of the older generations morphing into the Philippines of today. Was the rot there from the start?

  10. edgar lores says:

    1. Let me think this through.

    2. A Country is one of the social constructs we are born into. Like family, clan, community, and church.

    3. In the Hierarchy of Loyalties, Country is among the top constructs that command our loyalty. Before it used to be God and Country, or God then Country. But now I would say the top hierarchy is God, World, then Country.

    3.1. God is a very abstract concept and subjective. I would personally equate it with conscience.

    3.2. World and Country are also abstract but they equate to conceivably material entities and realities.

    3.3. Our loyalty to the World, which is the whole of humankind, should be higher than our loyalty to country. (Take that, China.)

    4. Active participation in Country, in state affairs, is the moral responsibility of every citizen.

    4.1. In all forms of government, we pay taxes.
    4.2. In all forms of government, we obey the law… to the extent that it is consistent with conscience.
    4.3. In a democratic form of government, we vote. (I believe that voting should be a compulsory duty as it is in Oz.)
    4.4. A corollary of suffrage is the duty to inquire and strive to know the quality of the candidates.
    4.4. Whatever the form of government, the defense of Country is a primary moral responsibility. The defense required could be from an enemy or an enemy within.

    5. The idea of a soldier is that of the noble warrior. He/she is the defender of hearth and home, of family and country, of women and children.

    5.1. It is this ideal notion of the noble soldier that I am upholding.

    5.2. There will be many ethical issues involved that will challenge the ideal notion. Some have been mentioned here. All have to be treated with great care.

    o What if the defense required is that of an internal enemy that comprises a minority by virtue of religion (e.g., Muslims)? Or by virtue of ideology (e.g., Communists)?
    o What if the defense required is that of a falsely constructed internal enemies (e.g., indigenous tribes (Lumads) and drug addicts)?
    o What if extreme forms of abuse (e.g., hazing) is practiced in the formation of the ideal soldier?

    6. In literature and in other art forms, there are many works that dwell on the issue of armed conflict. Of particular anguish are the lives of young poets, those sensitive souls, whose lights were prematurely extinguished by the winds of war.

    • 5. The moment you set off on foreign soil (especially if you ‘re not really , not really, defending all the above you’ve listed), all ’em ideals go out the window, edgar.. I'd imagine so too for an island or province never visited, since Filipinos lack in travel experience within their own country, much more easy to Other-ize even within the Philippines.

      Solution: Watch Kubrick movies, Paths of Glory, read Catch 21, etc. etc. For me this book worked just fine,

      shield yourself from propaganda should be the priority, idealizing and romanticizing wars should be avoided at all costs.

      • Oh, and this book too, I was assigned this book to read before going on my first deployment,


        Iroically, the book written by some dockworker, who pillaged L.A. city library for books having been blind as a kid, this book explained my own country to me more succinctly than books written by PhDs and professional writers.

        Explained bleeding hearts as well as conservatives to me. Maybe make Eric Hoffer’s book a whole subject for 11th grade?

        • edgar lores says:

          Eric Hoffer, in “The True Believer,” was one of my mentors.

          • I think the US military thought the book explained Islamic terrorism pretty well, which it does, but also explains other movements just the same, like American liberalism and conservatism, left wing and right wing nuttery,

            Central is the individual with no sense of self-worth and no-talent. And how that guy (and many like him) plays the central role in mass movements.

        • chemrock says:

          So perhaps you have the answer for the DDs trolls. Large group of individuals “with no sense of self worth and no talents” become true believers of a tyrannical guy, are basiccally “submissive and obedient” and “the surrendering and humbling of the self breeds pride and arrogance”


      • edgar lores says:

        5. While I try to state the general principle, things are not so clear-cut in reality.

        Defending home-turf is a given. But taking the fight to the enemy is justifiable.

        o Vietnam was arguably wrong.
        o Bombing Dresden – and even Hiroshima? — were arguably “right.”

        • “Defending home-turf is a given.”

          Not a given, it’s the one that they always twist, ie. “we fight them over there, so we don’t have to fight them here”. these are the same exact justifications just twisted, over here over there it’s the same. Same-same. Only difference is the concept of Us vs. Others.

          Same with Vietnam, dominoes theory, ie. they’re coming here; same with Hiroshima , we’ll kill them all there, so we won’t have to die here (Okinawa, Shuri). As for Dresden,

          • edgar lores says:

            It is a given. The counter-proposition would be: Defending home-turf is never acceptable.

            The twisting is false. The Domino Theory is a slippery slope fallacy.

            • Let me clarify, edgar.

              “Defending home-turf is a given. But taking the fight to the enemy is justifiable.”

              1. home-turf = given (connotation here is that this is justified all the time, hence your “never acceptable” retort above)

              2. taking the fight to the enemy = justifiable (excusable, meaning after some mental gymnastics could be justified, most times, sometimes, etc.)

              3. twisting is mine (conflation, inter-mingling of 1 and 2)


              9/11 planes hit the towers, Pentagon and one goes down in PA. 3,000 or so folks die.

              1. home-turf = given (again not a given is my position, here I’m saying not necessarily, the attack was heinous but proportionality suggests we don’t over extend and over exert, ie. invade more than 1 country thus causing regional nay generational chaos)

              “Defending home-turf is never acceptable.” Define: “Defending”? Assassinations, surgical wars are acceptable, when defending proportionality must be observe, that is the only given, if there are any givens to be had.

              2. taking the fight to the enemy = justifiable (given the example, Af-Pak, Iraq, now the bigger mess over there, was it really? hell, let’s throw back in Dresden and Hiroshima for affect)

              3. Both 1 and 2 were twisted together, the 3,000 dead by comparison 40,000 die from vehicle involved deaths every year, I believe drug involved deaths are around that much too. Were there other means of protecting the home-turf?

              Question: was the home-turf defended? did taking the fight to the enemy, if excusable, defend the home-turf? justifiable by definition include the notion of positive result no? that doing so will improve and not make things worst, no? Things are worst.

              Given? Justifiable? Twisted. I hope I’ve clarified my position further.

              • edgar lores says:

                I am talking in terms of general principles.

                Speaking of 9/11, that was an attack on home soil. As was Pearl Harbor.

                Question is: without delving into details, should one defend the attack on home soil? Yes or no?

                If you answer yes, then we agree.

                If you answer no, then we disagree.

                Full stop.


                Subsequent and deeper analyses of “yes” and “no” answers, will depend on the answer to this principal question.

                If you say no, one can then proceed to ask, “Why not?” This is another discussion.

                If you say yes, then one can go on about methods of defense and proportionality. That is another discussion.

                But even before that, one will have to identify the real enemy. Was it Saddam Hussein? Was it Bin Ladin? Was it Saudi Arabia? This would be another discussion.

                The analogy to vehicle and drug deaths is another discussion.

                Do not confuse the discussion on general principles by throwing in so many instances and variables. You will only confuse yourself.

              • Principles are in the clouds.

                They have to be tested on the ground, edgar.

                Here are more on the ground, granular things that make idealizings difficult,

                Pearl Harbor was military, thus military respond. So yes.

                Gulf of Tonkin was military, but similar to Pearl Harbor? No less people witnessed it. But involved home territory technically, ie. the American vessel.

                Shuri Line Okinawa the justification for A-bombs dropped, no more home-turf threat, but if you expand definition of home-turf to our military turf being expanded in Okinawa, then yeah, we’re defending our home-turf? see how that gets murky?

                Then the not so military, ie. 9/11. no military response possible, except fly-by’s , there were close calls re planes smaller planes almost getting shot by fighter jets after the grounding order.

                My point is there are no general principles, each situation must be evaluated, more so to verify efficacy of said response to threat.

                Your proposed general principle doesn’t occur as often, so why call it ‘general’. Everyone wishes for a “Red Dawn” scenario wherein the enemy is clear, obvious as is the situation, but this isn’t the norm when

                talking about defending home-turf , edgar, nor your 2nd justification.

                I’m with Gen. Smedley Butler’s last quote above (so yeah if you over simplify things we in principle agree), i wish the world was clearer and more obvious, but we both know it’s not reality.

                It is a confusing world is my whole point.

              • edgar lores says:

                General principles are guidelines.

                Certainly, each situation is unique. But one starts with the general principles.

                o So Pearl Harbor, yes.

                o 9/11, no military response during the event? Yes, but I was surprised America was caught napping. My expectation was that the plane that hit the second tower would have been shot down… although I do not know what greater havoc would have transpired with fire falling from the sky.

                o 9/11, military response after the event? Yes, but the culprits had to be correctly identified first. Saddam Hussein was not it, so the Iraq War of 43 was unjustified. Especially with the fabricated rationale of weapons of mass destruction. It took a while but the general principle of the defense of the home-turf finally got around to being done with the assassination, after a 10-year manhunt, of Bin Ladin, who was not a state actor. One will note the sigh of relief and the air of satisfaction at his removal. There was closure. So, no to Iraq War and yes to the Bin Ladin operation.

                o The Gulf of Tonkin incident seems to be a fabricated cassus belli. So, no.

                o The atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have to be seen in the context of Pearl Harbor and the entire Second World War. So, yes with reservations.

                Certainly, it’s a confusing world. But without general principles, it would be more confusing.

    • Nice statement of moral hierarchies and obligations. Our problem is with human emotions, those of many Filipinos finding no glory or grace in the activities of their political leaders, and therefore are subject to a quiet cynicism that blocks the moral grandeur of patriotism.

      If we can find what Irineo questions, what Filipinos care for, then it might be possible to do a better job of inspiring patriotism. Well, if it is just the thrills of gossip, like a kind of literary pornography, then we might find it difficult.

      • edgar lores says:

        Part of the problem is one of misidentification. Of what construct one should be loyalty to.

        We misidentify government (say, democracy) with the country (say, Philippines).

        We misidentify administration (say, Duterte) with the government (say, democracy).

        I would say the hierarchy is: Country, Government, Administration.

        o In defense of Country, I am a patriot.
        o In defense of Government, I am a libertarian (more specifically, a presidentialist rather than a federalist)
        o In defense of Administration, I am anti-Duterte.

      • popoy says:

        What we search for could be right under our nose all those times until it gets inside our nostrils and we have no choice but sneeze it out. Natural remedies like the size of rebellion is a certainty.

    • chemrock says:

      5.2 I would include what if a military engagement is for concealed purposes which if known to you you would hv objected. Such as in furtherance of the economic interest of special personalities. Or a pig head who got pissed off over something enough to launch a thousand ships?

    • popoy says:

      This is my reaction to everything you wrote above, Edgar (not important to me who the hell you are). You just concretised if not crystallised what should be the Article (after sagacious editing) that should precede the Bill of Rights and should be titled Article 1 – Code of Citizenship for a proposed New Constitution. Mahangin? Ludicrous? Exaggerated? Senile? Read again and give yourself a chance for a holy high of the mind.

      More? The PREAMBLE of succinct blah, blah in the old or current constitution could be likened to an MOU between country and citizens under watchful divine guidance.

      • edgar lores says:

        Popoy, salamat.

        • Not farfetched what Popoy says, as the guiding lights of Constitutions were moralists and idealists. Fr. Bernas for the Philippine 1987 Constitution, Carlo Schmid for the German 1949 Constitution.

          My LODI among German columnists, judge-turned-editorialist Heribert Prantl, constitutionalist and Social Democrat with deeply Christian convictions, wrote about the constant ribbing between the somewhat cynical Konrad Adenauer and the idealist Carlo Schmid. The LCPL_X – Lores exchange (another episode in the Klingon – Vulcan discourse) reminds me of what Prantl wrote about them, including Adenauer asking Schmid whether he still believed in human goodness, and Schmid answering “Definitely, Mr. Adenauer, definitely!”. Probably you need the idealists to write the constitutions and cynics/realists like Adenauer to get the state working to at least approximate the intent of popoy’s MOU.

    • edgar,

      Let’s refine further. Now with popoy and Ireneo’s input above.

      I will concede that defending the home-turf is a given.

      Ex. Lapu-Lapu saw Magellan coming and defended Mactan island. Again, if you’ve seen the movie “Red Dawn” (the original with Patrick Swayze should be the only choice) same situation.

      Tangentially, the Castle (home defense) and Stand Your Ground (personal defense) are based on this “general” (quotes mine) principle. As you may know the NRA fights for ’em, since a firearm is usually involved.

      The twisting , conflating of these principles of 1 and 2: “Defending home-turf is a given. But taking the fight to the enemy is justifiable.”

      This is my issue. I’m fine with Lapu-Lapu killing Magellan.

      And this might be a country specific kinda skepticism, knowing fully America’s forays into other lands, from Indian country, to the Philippines to your neo-colonialism now.

      Lesser countries who haven’t gone down this road may be more prone to defense idealisms, invade a bunch of countries and you’ll see a pattern, worthy of concern if not skepticism.

      Given that particular context and knowing how home-turf defense will always be equated to Us vs. Them narrative , the proposition that “home-turf” defense is a given, this becomes suspect. My point.

      Again, Lapu-Lapu was well within his right, but let’s add that maybe he had intel of Magellan’s attack a week or two before and attacked Cebu , or let’s say after the attack in Mactan, Magellan decided to take the fight to Cebu and chase down Magellan’s stragglers.

      Is that home-turf defense? It starts to get murky, no? We’re talking about pre-crime and dis-proportionality now. Humabon now would be well within his right, but we know in reality he was the one that killed Magellan’s stragglers and sent the rest off on their way.

      I imagine both Humabon and Lapu-Lapu hugging it out shortly after the Spaniards left.

      If history stopped there, then our conceptualizings of home-turf and Us vs. Them would be nice and fluffy, the stuff of unicorns and rainbows. Life was a lot simpler then.

      Fast forward, and we’re in Cavite City it’s 1900 , Smedley Butler was a young LT. Just outside of Novaleta insurrectos were taking pot shots as Butler’s unit (having requisitioned an old Spanish fort).

      So in the spirit of home-turf defense, they extended outwards and laid waste to some insurrectos.

      Question: Was that home-turf defense? Who had the rights to home-turf defense here?

      • “COULD BE giving some points for or against pejorative opinions about the military mind as one track or canalized by a life of indoctrination or blind compliance.”


        Over here, there’s an element of military worship now that wasn’t here before, I’m sure if you ask Joe it wasn’t around in his time neither. I personally think it started happening around mid-2000s.

        “Thanks for your service”, to which in my mind I usually say, depending on the person thanking, “Where were you?” to “I got what I wanted out of it”. In truth, I just say “Welcome”.

        But this worship of the military is very unhealthy. And I think some of this military worship via online memes are bleeding there too, and why I’m concerned with this ROTC program, and these idealizings of warfare, etc.

        When it comes to killing and “defending” that above should be the only general principle.

        edgar’s idealizings are dangerous, because it serves this bigger military worship phenomena.

        Here are better principles:

        1). Vengeance

        2). Proportionality

        If one dispenses of the home-turf and taking the fight to the enemy “principles” , Vengeance and Proportionality are just as good even better because its more honest.

        In fact, these are the principles practiced on the ground, though less idealized and academized. The only caveat is Vengeance must be tempered, hence needs to go hand-in-hand with proportionality.

        Using these principles:

        1). Hiroshima falls short, hence unjustified. Not proportional, at all.

        2). Gulf of Tonkin too, unjustified. Not proportional, and faked.

        3). Iraq invasion, unjustified. Not proportional, wrong dude.

        4). UBL assassination, justified. Proportional, better late than never.

        5). Pearl Harbor, Doolittle Raid, justified. Proportional, bombed military industrial sites.

        • * the Castle (home defense) and Stand Your Ground (personal defense) doctrines

          • p.s.—

            Definition for vengeance is,

            כג וְאִם-אָסוֹן, יִהְיֶה–וְנָתַתָּה נֶפֶשׁ, תַּחַת נָפֶשׁ. 23
            But if any harm follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

            כד עַיִן תַּחַת עַיִן, שֵׁן תַּחַת שֵׁן, יָד תַּחַת יָד, רֶגֶל תַּחַת רָגֶל. 24
            eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

            כה כְּוִיָּה תַּחַת כְּוִיָּה, פֶּצַע תַּחַת פָּצַע, חַבּוּרָה, תַּחַת חַבּוּרָה. 25
            burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

            (Exodus 21)

            Notice the proportionality , it doesn’t say eye for whole head, tooth for your whole family.

            I understand Jesus’ on take on this as well:

            38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’
            39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
            40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
            41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
            42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew‘s gospel)

            But I’m just responding to edgar’s “general” principles and proposing something better, that of Vengeance and Proportionality.

            Though Jesus’ take on Vengeance should be taught as well, if only to cause future ROTC cadets headaches. 😉

        • http://filipinogerman.blogsport.eu/wir-sind-helden/

          ..The 2004 movie “Troy” has Odysseus telling Achilles (link): War is young men dying and old men talking. You know this. Ignore the politics. That is probably even more true nowadays than in the olden days, when kings often rode into battle themselves. But were Greek heroes really heroes? Basically Troy was a civilized city raided by pirate upstarts who were still to become a civilization. The Romans who were the next to become civilized did not pretend to be heroic, in fact they had a very clear language: vae victis. Woe to the conquered. And the Germanic tribes who were next?

          They had more of a warrior religion in which those who died well went to Valhalla (link). This mixed with Christian beliefs in righteousness may have led to the idea of the knight in shining armor. The Spaniards had their own pompous variant of heroism, brilliantly ridiculed in Cervantes’ Don Quixote. Like the German words Heldentod (hero’s death) and Heldentat (heroic deed) may also have ironic meanings today. The first can mean overexerting oneself for something that isn’t worth it (not literally dying) and the second can mean creating a fiasco or catastrophe (link).

          President Duterte might have had quixotism in mind when he said he would jetski to the Spratleys (link): “Matagal ko nang ambisyon na maging hero ako. Kung pinatay nila ako dun, bahala na kayo umiyak dito sa Pilipinas” (I have long had the ambition to be a hero. If they kill me there, it is up to you to cry in the Philippines). The sarcasm was so clear then, I wonder how anyone believed it. Obviously there is a jadedness with the idea of heroes among some Filipinos. Senate President Sotto wanted to remove references to dying for the country from the national anthem (link)..

          ..In Serbia, a collectivistic, ethnic hero cult (more similar to bayani than to individualistic heroe) based on a national mythology plus paternalism led to this (p. 85): Decision-making was left to omnipotent rulers, those personifying heroic martyrs of the Battle of Kosovo, who promised to rule in the best interests of collective Serb society. Paternalism impeded the spread of democracy, the implementation of the rule of law, and the development of constitutionalism. The fierceness of hajduks plus ideology. No place or time is the same, outcomes differ. But some patterns do exist.

          Alltagshelden is a German tabloid term: “everyday heroes”. Non-everyday heros are for the 911. “Pity the country that needs heroes” said Bertolt Brecht. I think it makes a country a lot better if most people are just plain decent. Not “disente“, another lost in translation Filipino word which often means “dressed up to the nines” or “clean-cut”. I once was carrying disente pants on a hanger, coming from a dry cleaner. They fell off, somebody noticed it, picked them up and gave them to me – in the middle of Munich city. Very decent people! Small acts of goodness add up in society.

        • I’m not sure I would characterize it as “military worship”, but deep respect for the people who risk their lives to protect ours. The knighthood aspect that Irineo mentions, I suppose. I think this began after World War II, or maybe before, but I don’t go back that far haha. That was a righteous war, many died, and Americans were the good guys. So patriotism ran high back in the 50’s and 60’s, and then came Viet Nam. It proved not to be a righteous war, but a political war. Soldiers were scorned by the peacenik crowd which made up probably less than a majority. I think Americans could discern that the troops were not responsible for the war, the civilians and generals were. The respect for the fighting man never went away, it just got pushed back. Then came 9/11 and there was a surge of patriotic support for troops. It took several years for people to realize that, once again, the civilians and generals had led the nation astray. People generally looked with respect at troops who were willing to go on 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 tours (as my nephew did) to fight people who seemed evil for not being of Western morality and who did underhanded tricks like beheading people and flying airplanes into office towers filled with civilians. I think that respect for the warrior is a good thing for a nation in a world populated with good and bad leaders/nations, where defense of the home interest is important lest it be overrun by the bad guys. The trick is keeping the solders from doing the bidding of their own bad guys.

          The Philippines is nothing like the US. There is residual good will toward the troops for their sacrifices and effort in WW II, but that is being squandered by using them to wage war against Filipinos rather than an external enemy. Plus corrupt generals and troops squander the good will. The murderous ways of the PNP, if it is a leading indicator with AFP to follow, does not bode well for gaining the respect of the people for the Filipino warriors. One does not engender patriotism by using the troops against one’s own people.

      • edgar lores says:

        There are always nuances.

        Take Lapu-lapu and Humabon.

        You concede Lapu-lapu was defending his home-turf of Mactan.

        Now you ask:

        o “Would Lapu-lapu still be within the principle of home-turf defense if he went after Magellan’s stragglers in Cebu?”
        o “Would Lapu-lapu be justified in taking the fight to the enemy in Cebu?”

        On the face of it, the answer is no to the first question. Cebu was another kingdom under Humabon, outside of Lapu-lapu’s home-turf.

        Based on the above, the answer is also no to the second question. In Cebu, Magellan’s stragglers would be the responsibility of Humabon. (I gather he poisoned them.)

        But there are nuances to both answers that might turn the noes into yeses.

        Nuances would be found in the relationship between the two rulers.

        o Who was the greater king?
        o What were their defense arrangements?
        o Would Lapu-lapu have to seek permission for an incursion into Humabon’s territory and for permission to be granted by Humabon?

        I am not familiar with the second incident.


        I do not understand your aversion to my stated general principles when you advocate for other principles such as vengeance and proportionality.

        I really haven’t thought about it but both seem to be post-injury (or post-attack) considerations. They are secondary principles, seemingly related to post-injury offensive procedures, to my general principles, which can be characterized as defensive in nature.

        • Humabon attacked the rest of Magellan’s troops during a meal. A pitiful rest saw it and sailed away.

          Humabon’s behavior was clearly that of a Filipino politician. Court the potential new patron as long as he is powerful and of use. Drop him violently if necessary when proven weak.

  11. popoy says:

    I ain’t saying though I am writing LCpl X, not having read the books or seen the links you just made about the state of issues, but they could be, COULD BE giving some points for or against pejorative opinions about the military mind as one track or canalized by a life of indoctrination or blind compliance; viz. “life is a racket…” etcetera. Some bloggers see only the smell of decay, others proudly wearing Ray Ban shades smell only the beauty of roses. . .

    • popoy says:

      IF you had been with a lowland rice farmer and had visited the bed of two-inch rice seedlings, if you look hard enough you will likely find one or two white ones (albinos) in a sea of greens. Albinos among men. or buffaloes or plants encourage the search for reasons behind every conclusion.

  12. karlgarcia says:

    Call it hit squad, death squad or anti NPA liquidation squad, this reminds me of stories about secret marshalls.

    If we saw the horrors of killing the poor by riding in tandems in crowded areas in broad daylight caught on camera, the arresting tambays, with the AFP involved, this is scary and the admin tells us that this is just a concept.

    I hope the senate will make the extension of Martial law in Mindanao remain as a concept.

    • popoy says:

      AT THE VERY EXTREME: The robust existence of Death Squads is a demonstration to the world that the polity, that a weak society is sick and need external resuscitation lest it becomes suicidal and commits self-immolation by civil war.

      • Every society has its evolution – Germany had https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehmic_court (s) very active around the 1300s-1600s which passed death sentences in absentia, and which were also used by one of the most notorious political families of Europe, the Habsburgs, to stabilize their power when they were Holy Roman Emperors – yes, King Philipp’s folks. The killed had a dagger beside them and a piece of paper stating the decree of the secret court.

        Feuds between noble families were only outlawed in Germany in 1495 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewiger_Landfriede after centuries of people asking for the constant fights between especially minor nobility to stop. The legal idea of “disturbance of the peace” comes from that decree, meaning any kind of fight on public ground. Some societies of course regress at certain times – the idea of Feme as a decree of death was revived by right-wing killers in the 1920s. Businessman Walter Rathenau a first victim.

      • karlgarcia says:

        If the concept is concretized then the life-support system must be made in Japan or USA, but the there is a tariff truce so it might still be made in China.

  13. NHerrera says:


    I have a simple comment about the Administration’s proposal to bring back ROTC Training.

    I recall my High School ROTC in 1953. Then, instilling discipline and patriotism through ROTC may have been persuasive. This at a time of an uncomplicated country of radio and newspaper as a means of communication with government officials generally displaying discipline and patriotism themselves.

    But ROTC at this time, for the same purpose. may be much less persuasive when the internet and smartphone easily displays to the youth the fact that the very officials of the Administration who wants that back does not display the discipline and patriotism that they want the youths to have.

    There is a simple and no-cost alternative — for the government officials, especially those at the top, to display those attributes that they want instilled.

    I agree it is a wrong idea.

  14. popoy says:

    If I remember right, In high school it is PMT (Pre-Military Training) whereas in College it is ROTC (Reserved Officers Training Corps). Except for providing military personnel and some office logistics to schools and in Universities as DMST (Department Military Science and Tactics) basic and advanced training required more resources.

    This is a conjecture, THIS IS A CONJECTURE. The AFP and all its branches at the moment DO NOT have the capacity and capability to implement and execute functional ROTC in high schools or Universities. In big universities the DMST is like a College which should have its own Faculty and support staff and the necessary military software and hardware. Very likely the AFP does not have yet even ENOUGH dummy Armalites, blank bullets, mortars, howitzers, RPGs, etc.

    The practice of the nursing profession in modern US and Canada, etc. hospitals it may be CONJECTURED is 70 to 80% AI (Artificial Intelligence) and only 20 to 30% human (anatomy and physiology) Biology and compassion. Each nurse has a four-wheeled computer which determines a patient’s particular state of health at any given moment or during code blue. I jokingly told a nurse her elegant and as tall as she computerized machine should be given the robot body of an MMA (mix martial arts) handsome man.

    Military science now, may be is already 95% AI. AFP hotshots may take at the very least 5 years to realize that. Any AFP Modernization thingamajig should be about AI only after giving the ranks, Noncoms and file decent salaries and allowances. DMSTs in colleges and universities should dove tail computer-based tactics courses with non military science courses of other colleges. Each university should have its own AI Infrastructure and faculty to support all other units.

    Still a conjecture, the AFP will need 5 years or more to develop the capacity and capability to implement an AI-based National ROTC policy.

    • Much of military training is just getting the individual to think of himself as something bigger.

      Your first exposure of this is through metaphors, ie. a whole platoon marching in unison as one. Then you see that platoon off the parade deck and into terrain, same-same you see movement as one, but now with arms and legs, eyes and ears, eating and pooping, etc.

      For the purposes of this ROTC program (or my Emergency Response training above) I think Bam’s eSports can teach all this, virtually of course some field exercises to get the physical feel down after virtual concepts are understood.

      Saves the individual long hours in the hot sun too. But thinking big can be taught virtually.

      Also, an important part of making say a platoon or company or bigger unit function, the grease of the machine if you will, is this:

      1. Ask

      2. Tell

      3. Make

      Always be polite, and ask people do things; if not, then tell them order them to; if not, make ’em do it by force or fear. Too much interactions in the military given the high testosterone levels, they always go to 2 or 3 first. Never giving 1 much thought.

      Punish in private; praise in public. Yeah, sure Singapore’s caning in public or crucifixions on the road work too, but when working with folks day in day out, better to punish in private while praising in public.

      Understand the machine, use grease. That’s pretty much military training right there, you don’t really need military or police personnel , so covering this course can be done by civilians, but specific civilians that will have access to

      virtual games, hence Bam can play a huge role here.

      • “Thanks for the amplification and elaboration LCpl and IBRS. That’s a nostalgic blast from the past. But what about the CONJECTURE.”

        popoy watch this video below,

        Joe and I have talked about this subject before, just scroll up or down, it’s a really long thread, visited and re-visited, the discussion focused and re-focused at different times as currents developed,



        • popoy says:

          I did watch it, the cc is not operational I can easily digest now the written word more than the spoken word and my cochlea perhaps can still cipher the Arrneow accent. My former Boss told me after years of retirement that it i’s so nice NOT TO HEAR what you naturally does not like to hear. And that’s why I prefer watching Netflix flicks.

          • popoy says:

            This WRITTEN words (of 399 B.C.) are not mine but the source can be Googled. It’s like a Taekwando kick in 2018 going 2019 AD.

            “But if this government itself is a chaos and an absurdity, if it rules without helping, and commands without leading—how can we persuade the individual, in such a state, to obey the laws and confine his self seeking within the circle of the total good? No wonder [a soldier] turns against a state that distrust ability, and reverences number more than knowledge. No wonder there is chaos where there is thought, and the crowd decides in haste and ignorance, to repent at leisure and in desolation. Is it not a base superstition that mere numbers will give wisdom? On the contrary is it not universally seen that men in crowds are more foolish and more violent and more cruel than men separate and alone? Is it not shameful that men should be ruled by orators who go ringing on in long harangues, like brazen pots which, when struck continue to sound till a hand is put upon them. Surely the management of a state is a matter for which men cannot be too intelligent, a matter that needs the unhindered thought of the finest minds. How can a society be saved or be strong, except it be led by its wisest men.”

            And this is truly popoy’s not copied and pasted—No matter that history is antiquity what matters most of classic eche bucheche is to chew it good for taste of the HERE AND NOW.

            • popoy says:

              What was really the point of that neglectful husband and father with regard to the HERE AND NOW?

              -commanding, commanding, not helping not leading; chaos is different from absurdity; number, numbers like surveys, surveys for fitness to public office; etc. etc. to mine more ideas . . .

            • sonny says:

              That’s vintage-popoy! 1.

    • PMT was renamed to CAT (Citizen’s Army Training) during ML. Just like CHDFs became CAFGUs during Cory’s time and Matobato mixed them up in the hearing 30 years later.

      PMT was only 4th year high, but SCO was for 3rd year high students who wanted to be Cadet Officers, while the rest stayed on as “Boy Scouts”, fully integrated into the marching.

      Boy Scouts (1st-3rd year) were allowed to salute with three fingers only, not four like CAT. Kab Scouts in elementary were voluntary not mandatory, but saluted with two fingers only.

  15. popoy says:

    Thanks for the amplification and elaboration LCpl and IBRS. That’s a nostalgic blast from the past. But what about the CONJECTURE. I read about skulls of soldiers exploded by super sniper rifles; how drones vaporizes (exaggeration of course) enemy leaders in secret conference? Where does conventional warfare ends and where AI warfare begins? How can an incumbent President conduct a guerilla type of warfare against critics?

    • popoy says:

      The point really is the INROADS of AI to human endeavour eg. the medical professions like the doctors and nurses probably leading in the application of AI to combat illnesses and diseases. Where are the lawyers situated? and the police to serve and protect themselves against righteousness? the entire government bureaucrazy in the use of antiquated cell phones?

      A SPIN: In the distant past a majority of the more than 600 members of people’s court in Athens sentenced Socrates to die by poison because he poisoned the minds of Athens’s youth. The point is can a robot which knows the entire archive of the Supreme Court replace all its members to render real justice?

      R O T C (Reserved Officers Training Course) : Reserved for What? Training for What?

      • popoy says:

        There’s a plant of a word above caused by brain error if any can point it out.

      • karlgarcia says:

        You mentioned AI, I imagine robo cops and robo soldiers.
        This may or may not eliminate kotong cops, illegal arrests,illegal detention,etc.

        If robo soldiers handled the visit of XI no protocol would have been broken.

        • karlgarcia says:

          If the robot malfunctions, everything will be broken.

          • popoy says:

            I agree but …

            • popoy says:

              Think not of robo cops or robo soldiers. That’s popular Hollywoodish thinking. Think of larger drones or ipads as deputies and storage of terramegaterra bytes of knowledge and lethal rays created to become Deputy President, DepSenate President, DSpeaker, DCJ controlled by Citizen Force. Think of what AI Citizen Force will do to lying and thieving politicians if an AI Cremator rides piggy-back to every AI Deputy. There will be no need for Libingan ng mga Bayani; only cemeteries for the citizenry. Insane?

              U R INSANE is what a MERALCO Bigwig will tell you during the late sixties if you as a paying user of their mammoth computers for research then, if and when YOU got the guts to tell him SOON all the POWER of those big and many machines altogether will be miniaturized into ONE smallest drumstick (pinipig crunch) light enough for the side pocket to vibrate and tickle your thigh.

              That tiny pinipig crunch can send your voice and your blabbering image to your OFW Uncle in Alaska and ask him to send home some bread. Very likely you can also play slots and jackpots and bet online in Casinos in England or America. But you can not (not just yet) eat, snort or swallow the drumstick like a powdered Mary Jane or Cococaine because you are tired and need some sleep in the pancitan.

              • popoy says:

                And that’s when Sherlock Holmes might say: AI turns dream into solid reality.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Kudos to the would be inventor of robot presidents and robot piliticians.

              • karlgarcia says:

                When Unmanned aircrafts are being presented to the armed forces by defense contractors, the first Ludditeesque reactors where the pilots, either that that they can do better, they will run out of things to do or it is just wrong because it kills.

                With 3D printing, people can just “terraform” their own guns, if the technology can replicate the whole manufacturing industry, 3 d printed drones may be a cottage or garage industry.
                Still Hollywood….. For now.

                We still have the Luddite’s instincts for AI and tech.

                As far as ROTC is concerned let it remain an elective change the name because what are they reserves for?

                If you want to be a full time soldier then enlist and if you want to become an officer there are programs for officership other than the academies.

                Our country has had enough wars, the world has had enough wars, it is only a matter of when enough is enough.

            • karlgarcia says:


  16. CTE Services says:

    In your statement “You mean the rote instruction method whereby students are required to recite back canned lessons has not taught discipline? And all the flag ceremonies, anthems, and parades have not instilled patriotism?”

    – You have been a student in the philippines right? Clearly you have seen how almost every one of them disrespects flag cremony. Example: Gossiping, Laughing at the cremony, playing video games while doing the ceremony and some are waiting in the comfort room for the ceremony to end.

    Now THAT is what you called diciplined right!? Talk about disciplined🤣

    In this world if someone have to be a tyrant or someone to be hated by his own country and yet he did it for the sake of your “SAFETY “. Sorry but this is his way to stop these students from being lazy and disrespectful

    Take note: You are not forced to join if you have Physical or psychological problems.

    ~ PS. just stating my argument

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