PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is set to receive an honorary doctorate from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations during his official visit to Russia this week.
This is the first honorary doctorate Duterte will receive as Philippine President. He earlier declined an honorary degree from the University of the Philippines, saying he does not accept awards “as a matter of personal and official policy.”
The conferment will take place on Wednesday, the second day of Duterte’s official visit to Russia, according to a schedule released by Malacañang.
The Moscow institute, on its website, said it has granted honorary doctorate degrees to prominent foreign politicians, experts, diplomats and scholars working in the field of international relations and foreign policy.
Ex-president Fidel Ramos and former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are among the prominent personalities who have received the honorary degree. They got the award in 1997 and 2010, respectively.
On Wednesday, after receiving the award, Duterte will give a speech before the Moscow institute’s faculty and students about his “independent foreign policy” that seeks to de-emphasize US-Philippine relations in favor of Russia and China.
Duterte, who left for Moscow Monday afternoon, is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the first and second days of the official visit.
Duterte will sign several agreements with Russia, seek investments from Russian companies, and visit the Filipino community.