Malacañang said that President Rodrigo Duterte is not running after an honorary degree from the University of the Philippines.
Photo credits: Manila Bulletin News
“Hindi ko naman nire-reject. To use the word reject is not good. I simply decline,” said Duterte after UP made an offer to confer him with the doctorate honoris causa.
The offer elicited complaints from the UP community, particularly its students and professors, however Duterte assured that it is his “personal and official policy” to not accept awards.
“I do not accept awards, wala sa pagkatao ko,” Duterte said.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that Duterte is not “angling for” the degree although he acknowledged that “it would be quite an honor to receive that (honorary degree).”
"Although he doesn’t run after awards, you know, it would be a sign of goodwill towards the highest, well, one of the most premiere, one of the three premiere institutions," he added.
Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte blasted critics saying that his father is not after an award he did not toil for and that the critics “can have it.”
UP has previously conferred the honorary doctor of laws degree to Benigno Aquino III, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Arroyo, however Estrada and Arroyo declined.
By tradition, the honorary degree is offered to the head of the state, however some UP figures oppose this tradition.
UP student regent Raoul Manuel said in an official statement that "honors must not be given to a president that declares all-out war against his people to quell their struggle for just and lasting peace, and re-imposes death penalty to legitimize the killing of the poor."
Incoming UP Diliman university student council chair Benjie Aquino said that Duterte is undeserving of the degree because he "is guilty of treating women as objects, disregarding people’s fundamental human rights, and condoning unspeakable acts of violence against Filipinos."
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Duterte declines honorary degree from UP Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on April 19, 2017 Rating: