Okey, the president has just expressed his decision not to accept the planned conferment of the Law PHD honoris causa by the Board of Regents of U.P. This after the issue became a very hot and contested topic both online and in the UP community.
The main beef that kikos and kikas are publicly saying is this: Duterte is unworthy of getting the conferment because he symbolizes none of the things UP is traditionally known for.
That Duterte is known for not respecting the rule of law and of promoting EJKs, hence, totally weird for UP to even consider him an honorary doctorate for law. I might probably agree that UP confers to Duterte a doctorate honoris causa in population control. :-)
Anyway, my sense is, this issue is simply a non-issue. For one, Duterte is not a UP alumnus so he is not expected to understand this "intellectualism" that UP is proud of. Duterte is cut from a different mold, and though a lawyer himself, sees the world differently because of his experience as a local executive. So, don't expect him to really embody what UP stands for.
Besides, to be frank, what does UP stands for? Some say, it's excellence. Let me ask you---are you saying that this man is not an excellent representative of his species? I mean, he topped the elections. He is now president of the Republic. Is that not excellence?
Before he became president, Duterte is considered by many UP professors similar to how they see former DILG and Naga mayor Robredo. Now that he is president and exhibits some Marcosian tendencies, Duterte is now a pariah in the eyes of the UP community?
Duterte had helped thousands of poor Filipinos. Is that not an example of excellence and I think you would agree with me that Duterte's acts which improved the lives of thousands during his stint as mayor, is proof positive of excellence in the service of the Filipino People. Hindi ba yan ang definition ng excellence sa UP----ang pagsilbihan ng tapat ang bayan?
What does UP stand for? Change, they say. Are you saying that Mr. Duterte is not an excellent model of someone who strove very hard, even sacrificed his own personal convenience, just to change the lot of his fellow Davaoenos? Duterte, to be very factual about it, looked diferent and even got a higher stature in the eyes of the public because he was able to fuse together strong political will with action which led to changes in his environment. Is that not excellence in the change department?
What is excellent in the eyes of many is one should probably write his thoughts down and became an armchair revolutionary like Joma? If we compare Joma with Duterte, are you telling me that Joma is worthier of the conferment than Duterte?
How about former president Marcos and Ramos? Are you telling me that their contributions are better than Duterte's?
Again, what does UP stand for? Respect for the individual. Marcos was confered this award and he massacred thousands during his regime. There is no proof that Duterte had a hand to all these EJKs. Maybe, at the least, Duterte inspired some people to do the despicable. Comparing Duterte with Marcos, are you kidding me by saying that Marcos deserved the conferment more than the feisty former Davao mayor and now President Duterte? Seriously.
Lastly, what does UP stand for? Rule of Law. Let me ask you----how many of the oligarchs right now who dominate the economic and political landscape came from this institution? Are they respecting the rule of law? If they are, then, why the hell are we experiencing such tremendous hardships and there is a wide gap between those who have and those who have not?
Duterte is respectful of the Rule of Law. Why do I say that? Duterte is still very much operating within the parameters of the existing system. I know deep in his heart that he wants to eradicate this system, even make a revolutionary creature out of it, so that the changes he so want right now would not encounter snags and snares put forth by the very same people who graduated from UP. Again, is that not enough proof that Duterte is still respecting the rule of law?
As what Jesus told the Pharisees and the Sadducees in his time---before we cast aspersion against someone, let us get rid of these logs before our very eyes.
Anyway, I think the problem really lies on language. Duterte has a different language game which those from the university do not seem to understand. This observation is a cause of concern. Why? It just prove that UP has completed its cono-tic transformation. Anyway, I am not surprised because UP is really an institution created by the Americans for us to develop our own middle class, our intellectual class. And intellectuals disdain those who do not look and behave exactly like them.
That is the reason why a General Luna got hacked to death and a poet decided to base himself in the Americas because he usually peppers his sentences with curses, even putas. Luna and this poet were'nt conferred by honoris causas----yet, found themselves getting honors from the people anyway--a better one, if you ask me.
So sorry ah, I'm an alumnus of the UP myself. Don't get me wrong.