Jane Ryan, William Saunders, Imee Marcos
Freely add Inday Sara Duterte’s name to that triumvirate. Ambitioning to be the next president, the chair of the anomalously named Hugpong ng Pagbabago had just announced blithely that her senatorial candidates would be shunning debates. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why. Shunning debates is avoidance of truth-telling. She, too, is committed to the banishment of the Marcos truth. Is her standard of honesty hard to discern?
Much to the chagrin of Imee Marcos, she has no choice left now but to dodge interviews like the plague. She has chosen to have the sword of Damocles over her head with her fiction of diplomas and honors from Princeton and UP.
The official responses from both universities were swift. Michael Hotchkiss, Princeton University’s deputy spokesperson, confirmed: “Our records do not show that Ms. Marcos was awarded a degree.” This was published in the school’s official student publication The Daily Princetonian, reputed to be one of the oldest college newspapers in the United States.
Investigative journalists had also uncovered a 1983 article in Princeton’s Town Topics newspaper that gave a lowdown on freshman life in the Ivy League school. It advised freshmen: “You might draw a lesson from the experience of Imee Marcos. She never did graduate; she flunked out. At Princeton, that is one thing that is still being taken seriously.” Aray.
Meanwhile, UP’s executive vice president Teodoro Herbosa had also confirmed that the UP registrar had no record of Imee graduating. It further said she had taken nondegree courses from 1976-1977.
As for her claim she graduated from UP Law as cum laude, the records only showed she took up courses from the first semester of 1979 until the second semester of 1983. But a 1986 statement of UP Law’s then Dean Froilan Bacungan cleared the air. He said he had allowed Imee to enter the law college despite the lack of an undergraduate diploma. “Four years afterwards, when she could be considered for graduation, we discovered that she never submitted her diploma. She was not given a bachelor of law degree and that meant she couldn’t take the bar examination.”
Is Imee’s lying bizarre? Indubitably no. She is acting true to form in the lucrative league of Jane Ryan and William Saunders, the names of the hidden offshore bank accounts opened as early as her late dictator father’s first term. Take good note of that: 1966-1969, even before he was a dictator.
It was those bank accounts, later held in escrow for the Philippine government that served as source of indemnification funds for martial law human rights victims, as the Supreme Court and Swiss courts had ruled. That is a fact.
Imee is blessed to have as spokesperson Rodrigo Duterte, the comic book storyteller who obscures and obfuscates that fact in her family’s service. The campaign funds she gave to Mr. Duterte were plundered money. Mr. Duterte does not and cannot bite the hand that feeds.
Why does Imee lie so brazenly? Because she thinks we are just as bobo during her family’s kleptocracy. It is a reflection of a mindset that one can get away with a barefaced lie because we were born 30 minutes ago, gullible to chicanery like her father’s bogus war medals. It is as simple as that. The tradition was merely sustained.
Imee’s lying is a statement that elections are not sacred anyway but are auction time for the highest bidder, as all elections have come and gone in a country rendered impoverished by the corruption of unconscionable politicians like the Marcoses. Politicians steal because they can lie about it and then be voted back into office. Didn’t we vote one who refuses to sign a waiver for his humongous bank accounts?
Imee Marcos is a blithering basket case of corrupt politics. Honesty and transparency are the guarantees of integrity, the first order of the day in public service. Why should that be difficult to discern?
On Twitter: @AntonioJMontal2. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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