The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) belied statements connecting the Reserved Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program to the death of an Iloilo State College of Fisheries student on Monday, March 11.
AFP Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo clarified that the suspect, Elmer Decilao, never became an ROTC core commander and is no longer associated with program due to being a graduating student.
Arevalo further explained that Decilao had a fight with the victim, Willy Amihoy, regarding personal matters.
The AFP official explained that Amihoy suspects that his wallet was stolen by Decilao which caused a heated altercation between the two students and led to the death of the former.
“Hindi ito core commander, hindi na siya part ng ROTC ngayon, at ito’y maaring hindi magkakaroon ng puwang na mangyari sa isang ROTC training o ROTC training environment,” Arevalo explained during DZRH’s Isyu.
Arevalo believes that some groups twisted the details regarding the death of Amihoy in an effort to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte, who is pushing for the ROTC program to become mandatory to senior high-school students.
The spokesperson of the AFP also insisted that the ROTC program will develop nationalism, patriotism, and respect in the hearts and minds of the youth.
“Kung babasahin ninyo ang mga ulat ng Anakbayan, ng League of Filipino Students, at iba pang grupo talagang maniniwala kayo na itong ROTC na naman ang may kasalanan,” Arevalo insisted.
“Ito’y ginagawa lamang nila to discredit the ROTC, and to discredit the President, our Commander-In-Chief, na nagsusulong ng ROTC program na gawin mandatory,” Arevalo added.
Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago and the League of the Filipino Students previously issued statements criticizing the alleged ‘abuse’ and ‘culture of impunity’ among the ranks of ROTC following reports regarding Amihoy’s death.
Iloilo Police Dir. Police Lt. Col. Marlon Tayaba said that Decilao killed Amihoy by hitting him with a metal pipe. A security guard discovered the body of the victim inside a toilet of a dormitory after hearing a commotion.
Police apprehended Decilao who attempted to flee from the scene of the crime.