MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he will not accept the honorary degree that University of the Philippines (UP) is planning to confer on him.
“With due respect sa University of the Philippines, I don’t accept [honorary titles] even when I was a mayor. Hindi ako tumatanggap,” Duterte told reporters in Bohol.
“As a matter of personal and official policy, I don’t accept… I simply decline.”
UP Board of Regents (BOR) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan earlier said UP will offer an honorary degree or honoris causa on Duterte, “in keeping with tradition.”
The report triggered an outcry among critics of the Duterte administration who said the president does not deserve the honorary degree because of the killings related to the bloody war on drugs.
UP Student Regent Raoul Manuel joined the outcry, saying Duterte "has not even exhibited excellence to date."
"Honors are not deserved by a president whose regime killed thousands of citizens and leaders of progressive groups under Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Kapayapaan," he added.
"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 reimposes death penalty to legitimize the killing of the poor."
Other UP insiders took to social media to vent their frustrations through posts, photos and memes bearing the hashtags #NoDegreeForDuterte and #DuterteNotWorthy, with the latter trending on Twitter for several hours.