The camp of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. belied claims that he had misrepresented his Oxford education, hours after a group stressed that the presidential aspirant does not have a degree from the prestigious institution.
Through a statement, Marcos’ chief of staff lawyer Vic Rodriguez said the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. has been honest about his special diploma from the United Kingdom-based university.
“We stand by the degree confirmation which was issued by the University of Oxford. It is up to anyone to question or challenge this with the said university if they so please,” Rodriguez said.
“Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos has always been forthright on his conferment of a special diploma in social studies by the distinguish (sic) university and has never misrepresented his Oxford education,” he added.
Rodriguez issued the statement after the Oxford Philippines Society lamented the supposed misinformation on Marcos’ education, noting that what he got from the said university was only a special diploma in social studies and not a degree.
The group is composed of Filipino students and alumni of the university.
Citing the confirmation by the University of Oxford in 2015, the organization stressed that Marcos enrolled in the institution in 1975 but he failed in his first attempt at the preliminary exams required by the degree program.
“Passing the preliminary examinations is a pre-requisite for continuing one’s studies and completing a degree at Oxford University. Preliminary examinations are taken in the first half of a degree course, usually in a student’s first year of studies,” the group said.
“A special diploma is not a degree, and neither is itcomparable, superior nor equivalent to one. A special diploma is not a course of higher education leading to an undergraduate or first degree or even a master’s degree,” it added.
Some social media users were also quick to note that Marcos’ profile in the Philippine Senate, when he was still a senator, showed that he had obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Oxford in 1978.
His profile was later edited. The updated version of his Senate profile now shows that he had received a special diploma in social studies from the university.
The 64-year-old presidential aspirant is not the only Marcos member whose academic record has been questioned.
In 2019, his sister, Imee, released photos of her supposed 1983 graduation from the University of the Philippines. The UP later issued a statement to clarify that Marcos, at the time running for a Senate seat, did not finish a degree from the state university.
Since the Marcoses fled Malacañang in 1986 after their patriarch’s ouster, the family has been trying to rebuild its image, which was tainted by human rights violations and massive corruption during its 20-year rule.