A controversial Filipino politician is once again a subject of public scrutiny after she falsely claimed that she graduated with honors from Princeton University, The Daily Princetonian reported.
Imee Marcos, an incumbent governor and a senatorial candidate in the Philippines has posted in her official Facebook account that she is ‘one of the first female graduates from an Ivy League School – Princetonian University, graduating with honors.” She also wrote the same information in her curriculum vitae during her time at the House of Representatives in the Philippines.
The Daily Princetonian, the award-winning student publication from Princeton University, said that an email from Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss revealed that Marcos attended Princeton University but has not graduated nor was given any degree.
According to the email, Marcos attended Princeton University from the fall of 1973 to the spring of 1976 and returned on the fall of 1977 to spring of 1979. It also said that Marcos was enrolled in an independent concentration in Religion and Politics.
“Our records do not show that Ms. Marcos was awarded a degree,” Hotchkiss wrote.
As a response to the statement of Hotchkiss, Imee Marcos have said in an interview that she does not know who Hotchkiss is and that she will get to the bottom of the ‘mix-up.’
On February 14, Marcos posted photographs of an invitation to the class of 1979 reunions to supposedly proved that she has graduated from the University. However, the validity of the said invitation is yet to be confirmed.
NOT AN AVERAGE STUDENT
Furthermore, the student publication, records have shown that Marcos was not an average student at the University and has made special arrangements during her stay.
“In a letter from Philippine Consul General Ernesto C. Pineda to Dean of Student Affairs Adele S. Simmons dated July 30, 1973, Pineda described different accommodations that would be arranged for Marcos. She would live off campus, be escorted by Philippine security personnel, and be driven to and from campus by a Filipino chauffeur.”
The unusual request was justified by using the fact that Imee Marcos is the daughter of the ruling dictator in the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted by Philippine’s historic EDSA People Power I after 21 years of holding the office.
An article from the ‘Prince’ revealed that on September 11, 1973, the Asian – American Students’ Association (AASA) have protested against Marcos’ enrollment in the university.
AASA was worried that the presence of Imee Marcos in the university and her security personnel would threaten the safety of students who are critical of her father’s authoritarian rule.
NOT THE FIRST CONTROVERSY
Furthermore, a similar controversy was also faced by Marcos from the University of the Philippines, where she claimed she took her Bachelors of Law degree. This claim was dismissed by University of the Philippines Executive Vice President Teodoro Herbosa saying that although the female Marcos did attend the university, she was not awarded any degree. According to Herbosa, Imee Marcos was allowed to enroll in the university’s College of Law amidst not showing an undergraduate diploma but was not allowed to graduate when four years later, she still was not able to produce the necessary documents proving that she has an undergraduate degree.
In response to the controversy, Imee Marcos has again posted photos of her wearing a toga to what appears to be a graduation. People in social media were quick to dismiss this ‘evidence’ saying that marching in the graduation ceremonies is not equal to earning a degree.
A similar controversy was faced by her brother, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., during the early days of the 2016 election when the male Marcos ran as Vice President of the Philippines. In his biography, Bongbong Marcos claimed that he graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
Representatives from Oxford University later announced that Bongbong Marcos was only given a Special Diploma In Social Studies.
Bongbong Marcos’ campaign was hurt by the controversy. However, he was still able to manage to get the second highest number of votes in the 2016 vice presidential election. Marco’s claimed that his opponent, VP Leni Robredo cheated in the elections and has filed election complaints to have the votes recounted.
Throughout the political career of Marcos Family, since the old Marcos was elected president of the Philippines in 1965, the family has been in the center of controversy.
Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law in the Philippines to prolong his term and was accused of committing human rights abuses throughout his reign.
Imee Marcos is running as a senator in the 2019 elections which will be held on May 13.