UP alumni, students say #NoDegreeForDuterte, #DuterteNotWorthy to protest honorary degree for Duterte


The University of the Philippines is eyeing a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, degree to President Rodrigo Duterte, which led UP students and alumni to protest, citing Duterte’s campaign against drugs.

Chairperson Patricia Licuanan Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) said that the UP Board of Regents has offered the President the honorary doctor of laws degree as part of the university’s tradition.

Licuanan is the co-chairman of the Board of Regents with UP President Danilo Concepcion. Its members include representatives from Congress, UP faculty, UP administration, alumni, and students.

It is tradition for UP to offer the honorary doctors degree to Philippine presidents. Former President Benigno Aquino III received his in 2011 when he was commencement speaker at UP Diliman.

However, student regent Raoul Manuel told Inquirer said that this is “still a plan but not yet final.”

The Office of the Student Regent released a statement opposing UP’s offer to Duterte.

“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 OSR said.

“Moreover, it is ironic that a university, which has then and now fought against state fascism, will now recognize a president that allowed the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani — much against the will of the Filipino people,” the OSR added.

The OSR also urged the UP community “to demand accountability” from the President and gave details of protests and other activities with other sectors to “clamor for change.”

Former student regent Cleve Kevin Arguelles expressed his opposition at UP’s move.

In his Facebook post, he said that UP “must not be complicit in the president’s bloody war on drugs.”

“The only honorary degree that the University of the Philippines should confer to President #Duterte: Doctor of Crimes Against Humanity,” he added.

Other members of the UP community also expressed their disappointment in the move to confer an honorary degree on Duterte via Twitter.

UP student Aries Joseph Hegina offered a different version of the unity statement.

He wants Duterte to accept the UP BOR’s decision, but with a twist, as he anticipated Duterte’s “extemporaneous speech” in front the Iskolars ng Bayan during the President’s acceptance of the honorary degree.

“And as he continues his extemporaneous speech, I would want UP to honor its other tradition–that of militant activism. I would want to hear his microphone be cut short, banners to be unfurled and protest chants to pierce the air,” Hegina wrote.

“I would want to see students, with raised fists, drown out the speech of the murderer, the human rights violator, the lapdog of imperialist powers–a traditional politician who promised change but fell short,” he said.

“I would want to see rage. I would want to see students demanding accountability. I would want to see students fight will all their heart,” he added.

Sources: ( newsinfo.inquirer.net , gmanetwork.com , rappler.com )


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