- President Rodrigo Duterte has declined to accept UP’s honorary degree
- He said it’s a matter of ‘personal and official policy’
- The planned conferment of said honorary degree was met with opposition from UP alumni and students
MANILA, Philippines – After a much-publicized controversy over an honorary degree, President Rodrigo Duterte has declined to accept the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, initially planned to be conferred by the University of the Philippines.
The planned conferment of said honorary degree was met with opposition from some UP alumni and students; saying Duterte does not deserve it for supposedly ‘challenging basic human decency’, ‘discouraging public dissent’, ‘ a culture of impunity’, and ‘lauding extra-judicial killings’.
In a statement on Wednesday, Duterte said he has declined the award as ‘a matter of personal and official policy’.
“With due respect to University of the Philippines, I do not accept even when I was mayor. As a matter of personal and official policy, I do not accept awards,” Duterte told reporters in Bohol.
“I simply decline. Because I’m not accepting, ever since,” he added.
Awarding the President with a honoris causa has become a tradition of the UP. It is usually offered during the President’s first year of term in Malacañang.
Earlier, the Palace said Duterte is not really interested in the award.
“Although he doesn’t run after awards, it would be a sign of goodwill from the premier institution. It’s quite an honor to receive that,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.