MANILA, Philippines – An honorary doctorate degree for President Rodrigo Duterte? Not if these Iskos and Iskas can help it.
Several students and alumni of the University of the Philippines spoke up against the Board of Regent's (BOR) offer of a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, degree to the President. According to the Summary of BOR Resolutions – 1326th Meeting, the motion to confer was initiated by Senator Regent Francis Escudero and seconded by Regents Farolan and Jimenez. This Summary of Resolutions was later revised to delete the phrase "upon motion of Senator Regent Escudero" in Line 23.
Students and alumni criticized this move on social media: "Giving honor to a man who challenges basic human decency, discourages public dissent, promotes a culture of impunity, and lauds extra-judicial killings, UP has taken a major step backward in upholding Honor and Excellence."
The Office of the Student Regent also released a statement to condemn the offer.
The statement read: "Honors are not deserved by a president whose regime killed thousands of citizens and leaders of progressive groups under Oplan Tokhang and Oplan Kapayapaan. 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."
The hashtag #DuterteNotWorthy trended on Twitter. Here's what they had to say:
The Office of the Student Regent announced a protest action at the AS steps in UP Diliman, 4PM on Wednesday, April 19. What do you think? Should the President receive an honorary degree?