Duterte to receive honorary degree from Russian institute

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – President Rodrigo Duterte may have declined an honorary degree from the University of the Philippines, but he, so far, has no qualms receiving one from a Russian diplomatic institute.

On Wednesday, May 24, Duterte is scheduled to be conferred an honorary doctorate by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. (READ: Is Duterte just choosy about awards, honors he accepts?)

This is the first honorary doctorate Duterte will receive as Philippine President.

The conferment will take place on the second day of his official visit to Russia.

The institute, known as MGIMO for short, is Russia's premier school for international relations and is run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Many other presidents and world leaders have been given an honorary doctorate by the school.

These include former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in 2010, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in 2015, Lee Kuan Yew in 2005, and the Philippines' former president Fidel V. Ramos in 1997.

On Wednesday, after receiving the award, Duterte will give a speech in front of MGIMO's faculty and students about his "independent foreign policy."

Foreign Assistant Secretary Maria Cleofe Natividad earlier told media Duterte is expected to "articulate his administration's commitment to pursue an independent foreign policy that is anchored foremost on national interest considerations."

She also anticipated that Duterte will "share his ideas on how to achieve peace and security, especially in the Asia Pacific region."

After his speech, the President will interact with MGIMO's students. He is also set to donate books to the school's library. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.