Oxford group: Marcos received special diploma, no college degree

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 22)– A group of Filipino students and alumni of a prestigious United Kingdom-based university set the record straight on the academic credentials of presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.

In a statement posted on their social media page on Friday, the Oxford Philippines Society said Marcos did not finish his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at the prestigious university, citing the confirmation made by the University of Oxford in 2015.

Marcos enrolled in the course in 1975, but the group said 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 organization said.

The group said while Marcos received a special diploma in social studies from the university in 1978, it is different from a degree.

"A special diploma is not a degree, and neither is it comparable, 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.

The Oxford Philippines Society said the statement is aimed at preventing disinformation in light of the upcoming presidential elections next year.

"Such disinformation prevents Filipinos from exercising their democratic rights in a fair and meaningful way, and we believe every Filipino should have access to correct information as we prepare to vote in May 2022," the group said.

Marcos replied to the information about his credentials in the university.

“Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos has always been forthright on his conferment of a special diploma in social studies by the distinguish university and has never misrepresented his Oxford education,” his group said in a statement on Saturday.

In his failed vice presidential bid in 2016, Marcos confirmed his special diploma. He also said he did not finish his master's degree at the Wharton Business School in the University of Pennsylvania.

The former senator is the son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.