Philippine President amuses graduates with wild student stories in speech at alma mater

Duterte was prohibited from attending his own graduation ceremony for 'shooting his classmate'

Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the San Beda University commencement ceremony (Photo by Facebook: Government of the Philippines)

Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech at the San Beda University commencement ceremony (Photo by Facebook: Government of the Philippines)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte recounted his days as a student of San Beda College of Law and revealed stories about his failure to attend the graduation ceremony as well as his secret love towards a school staff member in a speech during the commencement rites of San Beda University on May 29.

Expressing his envy at the graduates attending the ceremony, Duterte told the students that he had been barred by the school authorities from participating in his own graduation ceremony as a result of a shooting incident – where he shot a fellow student on campus in 1972.

To keep his mother from learning of the incident, the president said he lied to her saying that the graduation event had been canceled “due to the commotion happening in Metro Manila under martial law,” reported Liberty Times.

The secret had been kept safe until years later when his mother bumped into a school official who disclosed the truth of her son’s expulsion from the ceremony. The president, who by then had become mayor of Davao City, recalled how he had to “beg on his knees for forgiveness” from his mother for lying about the shooting.

Duterte also revealed some other anecdotes from his college life, one involving his secret admiration for a college staff member.

“Are you still working here?,” “Would you marry me if you’re a widow?,” “I really like you.,” Duterte said in front of the students, who burst out into laughter at his words.

According to the Philippine president, his father had held little expectations for him, believing he would end up working as a laborer at the harbor. Thanking his mother, Duterte said he could never have achieved what he has done today were it not for the support and encouragement from his mother, reported Liberty Times.