The case of Imee Marcos and her Princeton years resurfaces

October 23, 2018 - 11:57 AM
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The educational credentials of aspiring senator Imee Marcos were questioned when an alleged copy of her Princeton University grades went viral. (Facebook/Imee Marcos)

After a supposed picture of aspiring senator Imee Marcos’ records on Princeton University went viral, questions about her educational credentials arose as she aims to occupy a seat in the upper house.

Last week, a Filipino Reddit user shared an unverified scanned copy of the Ilocos Norte governor’s scholastic records that pertained to her enrollment in the prestigious university from January to May 1976.

Prior to the Reddit posting, the picture has been making the rounds on social media platforms without pointing to a clear source.

Stripe her of her special treatment and privileges, and left to her own skills and intelligence, IMEE fails at everything from Philippines

Despite the document’s questionable authenticity, users reacted on the content of the document. Many, however, have continued to demand for the original poster, called OP on Reddit, to provide the source of the document.

Google reverse image search and other similar websites have not yielded a result pointing to the alleged report card’s origin. This indicates that the image has not been released online by other websites, but has likely only dwelled on social media.

Interaksyon four days ago reached out to the camp of Marcos, the current governor of Ilocos, to ask for a comment, but there has been no response on the document’s validity.

Imee’s life at Princeton 

Imee Marcos, together with her siblings Ferdinand “Bongbong” Jr. and Irene Marcos, were sent abroad for their studies before martial law was formally declared in the country in 1972.

According to newspaper clipping in 1986 titled “‘Imee’ Marcos’ Princeton years controversial” published by Asbury Park Press, Imee enrolled in Princeton in 1973 for her college education.

Imee Marcos' Princeton years controversialImee Marcos’ Princeton years controversial Sun, Mar 2, 1986 – Page 4 · Asbury Park Press (Asbury Park, Monmouth, New Jersey, United States of America) · Newspapers.com

It was the same year that her father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, signed the 1973 Constitution that solidified his one-man power, making him both the country’s president and prime minister at the same time.

Prior to Marcos’ admission into Princeton, the news report noted that “more than 50 students protested the university’s decision to accept her.”

It continued, “The protestors were mostly black and Asian students who criticized the admissions office for allowing the daughter of a dictator to study at Princeton.”

Apart from that, the eldest presidential daughter appeared to have not enrolled in any particular major.

The report claimed that Marcos “took a variety of courses” under the political science department and never received a bachelor’s degree from the Ivy League university.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos was the guest of honor during the anniversary of the now-defunct Kabataang Barangay. (Philstar.com/Edd Gumaban)

Instead, Marcos “withdrew in 1976, returned in 1977, and withdrew for the last time in 1979.”

The report runs counter to her biography on her official Facebook page. It states that she “is one of the first female graduates from an Ivy League School—Princeton University, graduating with honors.”

A screenshot of Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos’ biography in her official Facebook page. (Facebook/Imee Marcos)

Academician Madrileña de la Cerna in a Cebu Daily News column alleged that Marcos didn’t finish her college education in the United States, a predicament that would make her higher studies questionable as well.

“In the first place, we learned that her admission to the college was questionable because she did not finish her undergraduate studies at Princeton but was admitted just the same with intense pressure on the administration (whose admission policies are very strict),” De La Cerna noted.

Bongbong’s Oxford and Wharton degrees

It was not just Imee who claims that she is a product of a prestigious university abroad. Bongbong has maintained that he is a degree holder from Oxford University and Wharton School of Business.

According to his initial senator’s profile, he obtained a master’s degree in Business Administration at Wharton and finished his bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford.

However, Oxford stated that the former senator only received a special diploma in social science. Wharton confirmed that Bongbong attended the school but never graduated because he withdrew from the program.