London: The University of Oxford has waded into a row waged on social media over the education credentials of Philippines presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., saying he did not complete his degree.
“According to our records, he did not complete his degree, but was awarded a special diploma in Social Studies in 1978,” Oxford said in an e-mailed reply to questions. “The special diploma was not a full graduate diploma.”
Oxford’s comments were first reported by news website Rappler. A media relations officer with Marcos’ campaign didn’t have an immediate response to the report, although Marcos’ chief of staff previously said the campaign stands by the certification issued by Oxford and challenged naysayers to check with the university.
Battles on social media have intensified over the educational background of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ son, who is among the frontrunners in the May 2022 elections. The issue over Marcos’ education first emerged six years ago when his profile on a Senate website showed he obtained an Oxford degree in philosophy, politics and economics.
Critics said he lied as the special diploma was short of a degree. His supporters, meanwhile, insist Marcos’s opponents are using the issue to derail his campaign, much like when he ran for the vice presidency in 2016 and lost by a margin of 260,000 votes to Leni Robredo, who is also now running for president. Having a degree is not mandatory for a presidential candidate.