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Di say ni Chiz! UP President Danilo Concepcion proposed honorary degree for Duterte

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No less than University of the Philippines President Danilo Concepcion moved for the conferment of an honorary law degree on President Rodrigo Duterte during the UP Board of Regents’ meeting last April 5, according to a draft transcript of the proceedings obtained by ABS-CBN.

Based on the transcript, Concepcion wanted Duterte to become the speaker for UP Diliman’s commencement exercises on June 25 “to honor a long standing tradition.”

“We have already sent the letter of invitation to the President but so far we have not yet received acceptance,” he said.

Regardless of whether Duterte accepts the invitation to speak before graduates of UP Diliman, Concepcion said an honorary degree should be conferred on the President.

“The second one, it has been the tradition in the UP that we confer honorary doctorate degrees on Presidents, Senate Presidents, and Chief Justices of the Supreme Court. Yung whether or not he will attend the commencement exercises on June 25, I propose that we confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he said.

Concepcion seemingly implied that Duterte has already accepted the degree when he mentioned it at the BOR meeting.

“If the President does not accept the invitation to be the commencement speaker on June 25, then maybe we can, and he accepts the honorary doctorate take note… We cannot announce that we have decided to confer on him an honorary doctorate until he accepted it but we can confer the honorary degree on him elsewhere like, maybe, in UP Mindanao,” he said.

According to ABS-CBN reporter RG Cruz, the same draft transcript also showed that Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III has been invited to speak at the College of Law’s commencement exercises. He has also been considered as the conferee of the honorary degree.

Cruz said UP has refused to authenticate the draft transcript obtained by ABS-CBN.

A summary of the proceedings of the BOR’s meeting earlier attributed the proposal to confer a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa to Duterte to Senator Francis Escudero, a BOR member.

Escudero, however, denied he proposed the honorary degree but said he did not object to it.

UP’s Secretary has revised the summary to indicate it was not Escudero who proposed granting an honorary degree to Duterte but did not mention who was responsible for it.

Concepcion was said to be Duterte’s choice to become the president of UP.

Duterte has declined the university’s offer for him to be the conferee of the honorary degree, saying it hasn’t been his policy to accept awards.