Before declining UP’s honorary degree, Duterte accepted awards and honors

President Rodrigo Duterte declined the University of the Philippines’ offer of an honorary degree by saying that he does not accept awards as his “personal and official policy,” although he has accepted awards before.
“Hindi ko naman nire-reject. To use the word reject is not good. I simply decline,” Duterte said.

“I do not accept awards, wala sa pagkatao ko,” he added during a televised press briefing.

Duterte’s response came amid criticism and an indignation rally from the UP students and alumni, whose reactions on social media came with hashtags #NoDegreeForDuterte and #DuterteNotWorthy.

Rappler then wrote a piece about how President Duterte actually accepted awards before, two of which he even accepted as president.

  • The Manila Times’ “Man of the Year” Award. The President accepted the award on February 11 during a ceremony in Davao City. He even delivered an acceptance speech before Manila Times’ executives and journalists, saying that while he does not accept awards, this will be an exception. He even jokingly said, “But now, maybe because it is high time, at least before I go beyond, I should have one award.”

Manila Times wrote that Duterte was given the recognition for “overcoming the odds and changing the political landscape.”

  • The Knight Grand Cross of Rizal rank. Duterte also accepted this award last February. It is the highest honor from the Knights of Rizal, conferred on Duterte “for his unprecedented victory as President and restoring people’s faith in government.” The sole order of knighthood in the Philippines was established in 1911 to honor and uphold the ideals of Jose Rizal.

Duterte noted that accepting the award was a “humbling” experience.

  • Most Outstanding Alumnus of LPU. Duterte was recognized as LPU’s “most outstanding” alumnus in March 2015, before he finally confirmed running for the presidency. The university gave Duterte the award for his “incalculable services, exemplary dedication to duty, and outstanding achievements in positions of high responsibility.”

The President graduated from the university with a Bachelor of Arts, major in Political Science, in 1968.

However, President Duterte did decline the nomination for World Mayor award in 2014, which aims to promote the achievements of different mayors around the world. The City Mayors Foundation gives the award every two years.

Declining the award, the then-Davao City mayor said, “I did it because it was my job… I did it not for my own glory, but because that was what the people expected me to do.”

Rappler then noted that while Duterte said he does not accept awards, it would be more fitting to say that he is simply picky about the awards that he accepts.

Sources: ( , , , , )

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