Duterte shares why he almost lost his law degree

Image via Wikipedia
  • Duterte delivered an inspirational speech during the 2018 graduation rites on May 30
  • The President shared his experiences as a San Beda student and why he almost lost the privilege to take the bar exams
  • He shared that he got expelled right before graduation because he got involved in a gunshot incident with another student inside the campus

On Tuesday, May 30, President Duterte delivered a motivational message to the graduates of his alma mater, San Beda University, held at Philippine International Convention Center.

According to an Inquirer story, the President shared some of his secrets way back when he was still a student. He said that he envied the graduates for being able to attend their graduation ceremony. During his time, he recalled that he wasn’t able to join their batch graduation rites because the school administration denied him the right to attend because of a “gunshot incident” in their campus in 1972.


Duterte, who is known for his anecdotal and humorous stories, revealed to the graduates that he almost lost his law degree because of an  incident. After that, he said he had to ask for forgiveness from his mother for keeping that secret from her.

At first, he lied from her that there was no graduation rites because there was a chaotic incident due to martial law. He revealed that he actually got expelled during his last senior days.

The good thing is that he was pardoned by school authorities. Duterte was reportedly then issued by San Beda College of Law a certificate of graduation so he got privileged to take the bar exams.

Then his mother later on found out the truth through another parent that he actually was not able to attend graduation because he got expelled over a gunshot incident inside the campus of San Beda, as per a 2016 GMA story.

In the story, A former classmate, retired labor arbiter Arthur Amansec has shed light on Duterte’s claim.

Amansec said that the incident happened between Duterte and Octavio Goco who at that time were both playing with a gun. He said it was normal for students to bring guns to school in the ’70s. He said although he did not see who between Duterte and Goco fired the gun, school authorities believed Duterte was among the culprits.

“Etong si Digong (Duterte’s nickname) and another classmate, Goco, naghaharutan… Bigla na lang may pumutok na baril,” said Amansec. [Duterte and Goco were horseplaying, when suddenly a gunshot was heard.]

Back to present day, the President also admitted that he actually felt hurt about what the previous San Beda authorities had done to him that he actually initially refused the Achiever’s award the school wanted to give him. Later on, he still accepted the award.

In addition to the Achiever’s award given, he also received another award from San Beda in 2014, he was named by the San Beda Law Alumni Association as one of the school’s most outstanding alumni.

Towards the end of his speech, he also thanked the Benedictine community for allowing him to graduate and for also making him an awardee.

Furthermore, he urged the audience to “contribute further for the long-term progress of higher education in the country”.

Finally, President told the graduates to “serve as examples of servant leadership” and remain humble.