Nothing new with proposal to arm ROTC grads, reservists: DND chief

MANILA There is nothing new with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's announcement that he is willing to arm Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) graduates and other reservists should terrorism worsen in the Philippines.

"Other countries do it, like Switzerland (and) Israel. They have a small standing armed force backed by a huge reserve force that continually trains with the active force," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.

Lorenzana said they were looking at the possibility of each region having a reserve unit, consisting of retired military officers and ROTC graduates with a core group of active duty officers and enlisted personnel.

"Their cadres (officers and enlisted personnel) will be active military. They will have their Regional HQ with armories where they will keep their individual firearms. They can use these firearms during training," he said.

And should these formations be used in combat, peacekeeping and disaster response missions will have official orders calling them for limited active duty, like we did with the Lanao del Norte Reserve Battalion during the Marawi Siege", Lorenzana said.

Source: Philippine News Agency