Friday, May 25, 2012
CAGAYAN DE ORO Representative Rufus Rodriguez was conferred Thursday with the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos-Bacolod (UNO-R).
Rodriguez was a former dean of the College of Law of San Sebastian College Manila and a Hermano General (Brother of the Order) of the Order of Agustinian Recollects (OAR).
The conferment is among the highlights of UNO-R’s celebration of its 50th anniversary.
Rodriguez was given the recognition not only for his performance as a legislator but also for his long years of dedicated service to the Agustinian religious order and for leading a life that exemplifies Agustinian values.
University president Rev. Fr. Dionisio C. Cachero conferred the degree to Rodriguez who was accompanied by his wife Fenina and daughter Regine Beatrice.
Among other notables who witnessed the conferment were 6th District Representative Mercedes Alvarez, Rodriguez’s law school classmate Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Ray Allan Drilon and Ched VI Regional Director Dr. Virginia P. Resurreccion and Blue and Gold Alumni Association president Atty. Mateo A. Valenzuela who administered the oath for the solon as a member of the UNO-R alumni association.
Rodriguez placed 17th in the 1982 Bar Examinations. He served as a provincial board member of Misamis Oriental at the age of 27 and as vice-governor when he was just 30 years old.
At 37 years old, he made history as the youngest Dean of the San Sebastian College-Recoletos’s College of Law in 1990.
It was during his term as law school dean in early 2000 that the First Inter-Recoletos Law Meet was conducted and hosted by San Sebastian College in Manila.
Law students from UNO-R in Bacolod, Colegio de San Jose–Recoletos in Cebu and San Sebastian College-Recoletos in Manila matched wits in debate and extemporaneous speaking as well as competed in table games and ballgames.
Rodriguez was also appointed as commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration under then President Joseph Estrada and was credited for bringing efficiency and transparency in what was then perceived to be a graft-ridden government agency.
Rodriguez was elected in 2007 as representative of the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro in 2007. He distinguished himself as having perfect attendance in the 14th Congress.
He is now serving his second term, having been re-elected with a margin of more than 100,000 votes over his opponent in the May 2010 polls.
He ranks second among 268 congressmen on the most number of bills and resolutions filed at 554, of which 53 become Republic Acts.
Rodriguez was also awarded as Most Outstanding Alumnus by De La Salle University in 1999 and of Xavier University in 2002.
In his acceptance speech, Rodriguez shared the four pillars of mankind, which he said are the principles that he and his family lives by.
“You must have the valor of the brave, the justice of the brave, the prayer of the good and the wisdom of the wise,” he exhorted the hundreds of UNO-R officials, administrators, faculty, students and staff who witnessed his investiture ceremony at the UNO-R Gymnasium yesterday afternoon.
“Each should take courage in facing life’s difficulties; always give justice, always pray and always strive to learn the wisdom of the wise,” he stressed.
“Education should not stop after graduation. Learning should be a continuous process,” he shared.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 25, 2012.