How Bongbong Marcos Explained His Oxford University Education

What course did he finish?
Photo/s: Jerome Ascano

Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos's campaign said there was no intention to misrepresent his Oxford University education after Filipino alumni pointed out he did not finish his bachelor's degree, and instead finished a special course.

What was Bongbong Marcos' course at Oxford?

Marcos said he finished a Special Diploma in Social Studies, which he described in a 2016 TeleRadyo interview as equivalent to a bachelor's deegree.

Oxford Phililippines Society said the special diploma is "not a course of higher education leading to an undergraduate or first degree or even a master’s degree."

A document from Oxford certifying Marcos as having obtained the special diploma used the word "degree" in this context: Marcos "satisfied all the requirements for the award of the degree", or the special diploma.

Marcos said the special diploma and the bachelor's degree is one and the same, Filipino alumni said those are two different things.

However, on the Oxford website, the Special Diploma in Social Studies is not listed as among courses offered. What is listed as a course, was the Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, which Marcos did not finish. A separate Oxford listing categorized the Special Diploma in Social Studies as among "other undergraduate" courses.

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What did Bongbong Marcos have to say?

Marcos spoke to TeleRadyo in January 2016, at the start of his vice presidential campaign.

Marcos said he could not immediately answer questions on his Oxford pedigree because his school records were left behind in Manila 1986, when his family was forced into exile by the first People Power uprising.

It was only recently that he got the chance to fly to the UK and get a certificate from Oxford, which he said he must get in person.

"Hindi ko masagot kaagad. Lahat ng papeles ko, lahat ng certificates ko, lahat nawala sa Palasyo noong '86," he said. Describing the contents of the certificate, he said, " This is to certify that Ferdinand Marcos has completed a BA Degree in Social Sciences..."

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Anchor Karen Davila then asked him about the wording of the certificate, which referred to the course as a special diploma program.

"Ay oo, nagpalit ako ng kurso kasi ang sabi ko politics, philosophy and economics, sabi ko bagsak natin dito politics. Sabi ko gagawin ko na lang political science. Sabi nila, kung ganun, gagawin mo lumipat ka na lang sa kabilang course," he said.

"I suppose there are differences. Ang ending noon, this is a bachelor's degree, ang college sa England tatlong taon," he said.

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