Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez of the Second District of Cagayan de Oro City is the Guest of Honor and the Commencement Speaker in this year’s 44th Mid-Year Commencement Exercises on November 14, 2013 at the MSU-IIT Gymnasium.
Rodriguez holds an AB-Economics degree at De La Salle University, Manila where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1975, and a Law degree from the University of the Philippines in Diliman where he graduated among the top seven per cent of his class and among the top 20 in 1981. He also holds a Master’s degree in Economics with High Distinction from Xavier University.
As a Law student at UP, Rodriguez was elected the first and first Filipino President of the World Association of Law Students based in Washington, D.C. As such, he presided over the organization’s assemblies in Khartoum, Sudan; in Madrid, Spain; and in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also authored a book on the Law on Transportation published by Rex Bookstore, the youngest author of law books.
During his senior year at law school, he was elected the youngest senior board member of Misamis Oriental in 1980, and in 1984, he became the youngest Vice Governor of Misamis Oriental.
In 1990, he was appointed the youngest law dean of the San Sebastian College of Law, Manila and in five years, he graduated with Harlan Fiske Stone Honors (equivalent to Magna Cum Laude) Master of Laws at Columbia School of Law, New York City.
He was appointed in 1998 as the youngest Commissioner of Bureau of Immigration by President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
Several universities and organizations have likewise honored him: the degree of Doctorate of Humanities (Civil Law) Honoris Causa by the Central Mindanao University at Musuan, Bukidnon; “Most Outstanding Alumnus” by De La Salle University in 1999, and Xavier University in 2002. “Most Outstanding Alumnus Award for Public Service” during Xavier University’s 75th Anniversary in 2008; and, in 2012, a Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) degree by University of Negros Occidental Recoletos (UNO-R); as one of the Ten Outstanding Congressman of the Philippines by the Publishers Association of the Phils., Inc. (PAPI) in 2012; and, as one of Twenty Outstanding Congressmen Award for 2012 by Super brand Marketing International, Inc. for his achievements as Congressman of the 15th Congress.
He also received honors abroad: a Certificate, Leaders in Development from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. in 2009; and in 2011, a Certificate on Summer Courses on Public International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law in Netherlands.
In 2007, he was elected to the 14th Congress was re-elected in the May 10, 2010 elections. In the present 15th Congress, he ranks No. 1 among 285 Congressmen in the number of bills and resolutions filed.
He has authored singly or with others 1,090 house bills and resolutions, of which 31 had become Republic Acts, making him No. 1 of the 285 Congressmen with the most number of bills that have become law.
His more recent achievements are attending the 17th Session of the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy in Rhodes, Greece last year to know more on the validity of the Philippine claim to the West Philippine Sea under the 1982 United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea; and, being elected President of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines.
As in the 14th Congress, he also had a perfect attendance record. He is serving his third term in the 16th Congress. –Christine Godinez Ortega, OC-OPI