Approval for Duterte's drug war slips in Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte topped the TIME 100 Reader Poll, which was the magazine's poll to find out from readers who should be included in their annual TIME 100 list.

Nearly 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed since Mr Duterte took office on June 30 and kicked off a brutal anti-narcotics campaign.

"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", Paolo said in a statement.

The UP Board of Regents (BOR), the university's highest policy making body, is reportedly keen on conferring Duterte the honorary doctor of laws degree as part of tradition. "No other recognition or honorary degrees could eclipse that", he said.

All previous Philippine presidents have been conferred with the said degree aside from Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Manila Mayor Joseph Estada who turned the offer down.

Seventy-eight percent of 1,200 people surveyed by Social Weather Stations (SWS) said they were satisfied by the government's crackdown on illegal drugs, down from 85 percent in a similar poll in December a year ago.

We, members of the National Union of Peoples' Lawyers of the UP College of Law, stand strongly against the conferment of... Former president Benigno Aquino III was also recognized in 2011.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Duterte is "so admired by Filipinos and worldwide leaders alike (because of) his national agenda - he has prioritized public interest first and foremost".

Vice Mayor Duterte said that his family is also hoping that all the sacrifices of President Duterte will be appreciated by all Filipinos, not just the 16 million who voted for him past year.

Abella stressed that the President was not salivating over the UP honorary degree.

"Knowing my father, he does not give a heck [about] any "honorary degree" simply because he knows he did not work hard for such a degree".

"Indeed Filipinos find in the president a kindred spirit, a leader who acts for the common good", he added.

  • Carolyn Briggs