BOHOL, Philippines — During Wednesday’s security briefing for the ASEAN Summit in Tagbilaran, Bohol, President Rodrigo Duterte stressed that even when he was still mayor of Davao City, it has become a matter of personal and official policy for him not to accept awards.
“With due respect to the University of the Philippines, I do not accept even when I was mayor, di tayo tumatanggap [ I never accepted] as a matter of personal and official policy, I do not accept awards. To use the word reject is not good, I simply decline,” he said.
Thus, the President has declined the honorary doctorate degree being offered by the University of the Philippines Board of Regents.
The honorary doctorate degree is the highest academic honor given by the university to individuals who employs honor and excellence in their respective fields.
BOR co-chair and Commission on Higher Education head Patricia Licuanan said it is part of the up tradition to offer honorary degree to the sitting president of the country.
On Wednesday afternoon, students launched a protest against Duterte’s recognition.
They said he does not deserve the academic honor.
UP student regent Raoul Manuel said, “Dahil doon sa mga attacks ng Duterte regime sa rights of the Filipino people, we believe na walang dangal ang ganoong mga actions of this regime in its first months in office.”
(Because of the attacks that the Duterte regime in the rights of the Filipino people, we believe that there is no honor in those actions of this regime in its first months in office.)
Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri and Sen. Richard Gordon said the granting of honorary degree to the President should not be an issue.
Sen. Gordon said, “Sa akin hayaan mo ginawa ng Board of Regents. They are responsible people, I will not let it pass if napatunayan na may ginawang kalokohan si Pres. Duterte, bawiin nila. I will not make any comment.”
(In my opinion let the board of regent do their stuff. They are responsible people, I will not let it pass if Pres. Duterte has really done something bad. Let them forfeit the award and I will not make any comment.)
While Senator Zubiri said, “Personally, I have nothing against it. Bilang an alumni of UP, nakita naman po natin ang kanyang mga polisiya na maka-masa.”
(Personally, I have nothing against it. As an alumni of UP, I saw that Pres. Duterte’s policies are for the people.) — Joyce Balancio|UNTV News & Rescue
WATCH: Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte lashes out those who are saying Pres. Duterte don’t deserve the award
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