Tokyo, Japan
13 December 2013

An Honorary Doctoral Law Degree was conferred to President Benigno S. Aquino III by the Sophia University in Tokyo “for his significant achievements in the promotion of good governance and peace in the Philippines which have contributed to the remarkable economic development of the country in recent years.”

In his acceptance speech, President Aquino said that he is bound to help his country walk the path towards social justice and economic process, and to pursue not just growth but inclusive growth.

“I am merely the instrument of the people’s will. In fact, the whole reason why I am here is the people made a collective commitment – one which I am playing my role but will hopefully continue even after I step down from office. Everything we have achieved, we have achieved by doing what the Filipino people have asked of us – by fighting for the rule of law,” the President said.

The ceremony was presided by the university Chancellor Toshiaki Koso and its President Prof. Tadashi Takizawa. His conferment was proposed by Fr. Ramon T. Villarin SJ, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) President, in a letter to Sophia University dated January 21, 2013. Filipinos who were previously given the award were Carlos P. Romulo (1963) as President of the University of the Philippines (UP) and Fr. Horacio De La Costa, SJ (1973) as Assistant Minister and Advisor of the Society of Jesus. The conferment is part of the university’s centennial anniversary celebration.

Before the program started, President Aquino signed the Sophia University guest book. A token was also presented to him by Chancellor Koso.

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