FACT CHECK: Sara Duterte camp belies viral claim on K to 12 change and mandatory military service without pay 

A claim circulating on Facebook that Vice President-elect Sara Duterte will ask Congress to add two more years to the K to 12 Program and include two years of mandatory military service without pay is fake news.

Facebook pages such as Samasa Kontra Mandarambong and Clinton Balud’s Tidbits posted the false claim in a quote card attributed to Duterte, which reads: 

“After my proclamation as Vice-President and immediate assumption as Secretary of the Department of Education, I will immediately asked (sic) the Congress to amend the K12 program to K14+ basic education program. ROTC will be again compulsary (sic) plus two years mandatory service in the AFP without salary. SA IKAKAUNLAD NG BAYAN, DISIPLINA NG KABATAAN ANG KAILANGAN.”

The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School [SHS]) to provide sufficient time for mastery of concepts and skills, develop lifelong learners, and prepare graduates for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship.

ROTC, on the other hand, stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, one of the components of the National Service Training Program designed to provide military training to citizen soldiers in order to motivate, train, organize and mobilize them for national defense preparedness.

President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. had designated Duterte as the incoming secretary of the Department of Education last May 11. Marcos and Duterte are running mates in the May 9 general elections.

Christina Garcia-Frasco, Duterte’s spokesperson, denied that the incoming DepEd Secretary has issued a pronouncement involving amending the K to 12 educational program and making the ROTC and two years of military service mandatory for citizens.

“A quote card has been circulating in social media falsely attributing to Vice President-elect Sara Duterte remarks regarding a supposed proposal to amend the K to 12 program and the introduction of ROTC and mandatory service in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines),” Frasco said in a statement released to reporters covering the Davao City Hall on June 2.

“Vice President-elect Sara Duterte has never released any statements to this effect. The quote card is fake,” she added. https://www.facebook.com/MayorIndaySaraDuterteOfficial/posts/932188210958724

During the campaign trail in January, Duterte was quoted as saying she would ask Congress to push for the mandatory military service of men and women upon turning 18 years old if she gets elected.

She, however, added that they would be given subsidy, contrary to the false claim that they won’t get paid.


Duterte tentatively set her oath-taking as Vice President on June 19 in Davao City. She will formally assume the post on June 30, 2022 and serve as concurrent education secretary.

As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)

(This fact-check piece was produced with the support of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)

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