A viral picture of young men seemingly promoting the Reserve Officers Training Corps program on a blackboard concerned some Filipinos who perceived their message to be filled with innuendo.
The picture, which has since found its way to Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, was traced to Facebook user Christian Dave Lasap Toylo.
The message on the blackboard reads: “Mag-mahal ka ng ROTC, sa kanya mo matitikman ang gumagapang ka pa lang, pinuputukan ka na!”
The picture did not amuse some Filipinos who claimed that it appeared to be a reflection of what ROTC reportedly instills in the youth like “vulgarity” and “macho-fascism.”
— Maya Santos (@mayabsantos) July 23, 2019
In Reddit, there was a user who noticed the picture of President Rodrigo Duterte, known for spouting innuendo-filled jokes and sexist remarks, right above the blackboard.
“Parang ang symbolic na there’s a picture of Duterte looking over them. Like a patron saint or something,” the Reddit user commented.
There were others who called out the Twitter user for generalizing ROTC cadets in the incident.
“Do not generalize. Graduate ako ng DLSU-ROTC and we were (taught) camaraderie and teamwork among my batchmates. We also had bloodletting drives and other socio-civic activities, just like NSTP-CWTS. Do not bunch us up with these people,” a Twitter user wrote.
Duterte has repeatedly called for the return of the mandatory ROTC for the Filipino youth, believing it instills a sense of patriotism and discipline.
A two-year pilot implementation of it, the Advanced Citizen Training Program, has already been in effect among selected public high schools across the country this school year.
Critics warn, however, that the ROTC could only be an avenue for “machismo, violence and corruption” because of its gruesome history involving student deaths and hazing.