"I do not accept even when I was mayor. Hindi ako tumatanggap, as a matter of personal and official policy, I do not accept awards. Wala sa pagkatao ko.
“With due respect to the University of the Philippines, I do not accept even when I was mayor. Hindi ako tumatanggap, as a matter of personal and official policy, I do not accept awards. Wala sa pagkatao ko,” Duterte said.
The UP critics of President Duterte reacted after the UP regents offered it.
One UP student said, “President Duterte is guilty of treating women as objects, disregarding people’s fundamental human rights, and condoning unspeakable acts of violence against Filipinos. He is not worthy of being honored by the University.”
“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,” Student Regent Raoul Manuel 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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella also answered the issue.
“It’s not something that he runs after. Although he does not run after awards, it would be a sign of goodwill towards the highest—one of the three premiere institutions. It would be quite an honor to receive that. But it’s not something he is angling for. Of course, a sign of mutual respect would be in place here," Abella said.
Vice-Mayor Paolo Duterte also gave his powerful thought to his father, President Duterte against critics.
“To the so-called learned individuals who frown upon the plan of the University of the Philippines to grant an honorary doctorate degree to the President, you can have that honorary degree for all we care. Our family though thank the UP Board of Regents for even considering our father. Pero ok na akong papa [But he is okay] as being the President of the Republic of the Philippines,” Paolo Duterte said.