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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A Filipino governor has stirred up controversy recently after falsely claiming that she graduated from the University. 

Imee Marcos, a current candidate for a Philippine Senate position and the daughter of former Filipino President Ferdinand E. Marcos, says she graduated from the University in 1979. Although she enrolled in the University in 1973, no record shows that she graduated.

Marcos has yet to respond to request for comment.

Marcos’ biography on her official Facebook account states that she is “one of the first female graduates from an Ivy League School — Princeton University, graduating with honors.” The 63-year-old former representative for the Philippine House of Representatives also included this information in her official curriculum vitae during her time in the Philippine House of Representatives. 

In an email to The Daily Princetonian, Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote that Marcos attended from fall 1973 to spring 1976 and returned again for fall 1977 to spring 1979. She had an independent concentration in Religion and Politics.  

“Our records do not show that Ms. Marcos was awarded a degree,” Hotchkiss wrote. 

On Feb. 14, Marcos posted photographs of an invitation to the Class of 1979 reunions to her Facebook account. The validity of the invitation, which was dated August 2018, has not been confirmed. 

When Marcos first enrolled in the University, her father was a dictator ruling under martial law in the Philippines.

Records show that Marcos was not an average student during her time at the University.

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. 

According to an article in the ‘Prince’ on September 11, 1973, the Asian-American Students Association (AASA) protested the University’s acceptance of Marcos and held negotiations with Simmons regarding her matriculation. 

The AASA worried that the presence of Marcos and her security personnel would be threatening to students who were critical of her father’s government.

This is not the first time Marcos has been involved in such a controversy. Her alleged graduation from the University of the Philippines College of Law has also been disproven. 

Earlier this month, the University of the Philippines’ Executive Vice-President Teodoro Herbosa told Rappler that although Marcos did attend courses in the university, there is no record of her receiving a degree.

In 2015, the academic background of Marcos’ brother, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., was also brought into question. Although the former senator insisted that he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from the University of Oxford, the university stated that he only earned a “Special Diploma in Social Studies.”

The Marcos family has also been involved in several scandals throughout the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos from 1965 to 1986 and the political careers of his children. 

In the 2015 leak of the Panama Papers, Imee Marcos was listed as a beneficiary of offshore holdings belonging to the family. 

The 2019 Philippine Senate elections, in which Imee Marcos is running for office, will take place on May 13. 

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