Lies, lies, and more lies | Inquirer Opinion
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Lies, lies, and more lies

Like father, like son.


President Ferdinand Marcos lied about the medals he received during World War II. Government brochures during his presidency claimed that he was the country’s most decorated soldier, a claim echoed by his wife, Imelda. He stood by that lie all through his life. And that lie jumpstarted his political career; up to his presidency and beyond, he was mouthing it.

How do we know it is a lie? I will not cite the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) research on the matter, nor will I cite the research of army veteran Boni Gillego, or historian Ricardo Jose on the matter. They all said that his claims were without basis. Why will I not use them? Because, unfortunately, they are Filipinos and can be painted by the trolls as biased or anti-Marcos.


I will cite, though, a December 1983 Washington Post report by John Sharkey, assistant foreign editor, which detailed the findings “of an 18-month effort to verify Marcos’ claims to high American decorations.” The effort was thorough—it included a search of US military archives, a detailed examination of official military histories, personal memoirs and portions of Marcos’ personal file at the US military records center in St. Louis, and conversations with Philippine and American survivors of the war. His conclusion: It “raises serious doubts about whether he actually was awarded them.”

This was not the only lie Ferdinand Marcos fed to the Filipino people, of course. It was followed by many more. But this is what gave him his start.

And now his son has lied about his education at Oxford University. He lied about it until he was caught out in 2015 by Rappler’s Marites Vitug. How do we know he lied about it? Well, his CV in the Senate of the Philippines (he was a senator from 2010-2016) shows that he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics. On the other hand, Vitug showed an email from Clare Woodcock, spokesperson for Oxford University, who wrote: “We can confirm that a Ferdinand Marcos matriculated at the University of Oxford in 1975 to read for a BA in Philosophy, Philosophy, and Economics. According to our records, he did not complete his degree, but was awarded a Special Diploma in Social Studies in 1978.”

And what is a Special Diploma? Apparently, Oxford no longer offers it, but it has been described thusly: “Anyone who only has a diploma did not complete the 3-year degree course, did not take the exams, and therefore has not been conferred a BA.” In other words, it is a consuelo de bobo for dropouts.

Bongbong surely knew the score, but he lied again about it, as recounted by Vitug. First, he said that it was a diploma in political science; then he told reporters in 2015: “I got a diploma … What do you get when you graduate? A diploma!”

A barefaced lie.

He also lied about his Wharton stay. His Senate CV states that he has a master’s degree from Wharton. No such thing.


Having been shown up, he still apparently cannot resist the urge to lie. His present website still insists: “He completed his undergraduate studies at Oxford University and graduated with a Special Diploma in Social Studies.” Sigh. He DID NOT GRADUATE. See above.

But Bongbong follows in his father’s footsteps not only in lying, but in other matters as well. Justice Tony Carpio’s column this week cites Bongbong’s having been convicted of failing to file income tax returns and failing to pay taxes from 1982 to 1985 both in the trial court and in the court of appeals (final and executory). What it did not say was that Bongbong Marcos at the time was vice governor and then governor of Ilocos Norte.

He was holding high public office when he failed to declare and pay his taxes. If it was for only a year, perhaps it could be excused. But four years?

Where are his principles? His values? Lying to the Filipino people. Cheating them. Like his father did—his father, whom he has tried his best to distance from while at the same time claiming that his father did good. If he was old enough to be governor, he certainly was old enough to know what his parents were doing (stealing the country blind, among others).

And this man is running for president? Do we really want another Marcos? Filipinos, wake up!


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TAGS: BBM, diploma, education, Elections, liars, Lies, marcos, Oxford, Wharton
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