Fact checks on public officials

FALSE: Duterte proves Pacquiao paid University of Makati for college diploma

FALSE: Duterte proves Pacquiao paid University of Makati for college diploma
President Rodrigo Duterte has not referred to Senator Manny Pacquiao's college degree in his recent speeches. The video containing the claim does not even mention Duterte at all.
At a glance
  • Claim: President Rodrigo Duterte has proven that Senator Pacquiao paid the University of Makati (UMak) to get a college diploma after finishing his political science degree in just three months.
  • Rating: FALSE
  • The facts: Duterte has not referred to Pacquiao’s college degree in his speeches. The video containing the claim does not even mention Duterte at all. Pacquiao earned his political science degree at UMak after 16 months.
  • Why we fact-checked this: The video has over 221,000 views on YouTube, as of writing.
Complete details

A video uploaded on June 12 by YouTube channel “Banat News TV” falsely claims that President Rodrigo Duterte has produced proof that Senator Manny Pacquiao paid the University of Makati (UMak) to get a college diploma. 

The video is titled, “JUST IN: CONFIRMED! PRES DUTERTE, PINATUNAYANG PACQUIAO BINAYARAN lang ang COLLEGE DIPLOMA sa UMAK?” (President Duterte proves Pacquiao paid for his UMak college diploma?)

The content of the video says that Pacquiao finished his four-year college course in a span of three months, and then just paid UMak to get his college diploma.

Data from social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle show that the video has over 221,000 views on YouTube. It was posted at least 29 times on different Facebook groups and pages, as of writing.

These claims are false.

The video containing the claim does not even mention Duterte or his supposed evidence about Pacquiao’s college degree at all.

The closest remark that Duterte made about Pacquiao’s education was on June 8, when the President told Pacquiao to “study better” before making statements about foreign policy. Duterte has not referred to Pacquiao’s college degree in his recent speeches either. (READ: ‘Mag-aral ka muna nang husto,’ Duterte tells Pacquiao after West PH Sea comment)

An official of UMak has also denied the accusations that Pacquiao finished his degree after just three months and that he paid the university to get his college diploma.

University of Makati Vice President for Academic Affairs Elxyzur Ramos told Inquirer.net in December 2019: “He attended his classes; he submitted all the requirements, so it is just right for him to earn his degree. If people still have doubts and questions, they can always come here and check our records.”

Pacquiao became a student of the University of Makati in August 2018 under the Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program of the Philippine Councilors League-Legislative Academy. The program was in partnership with UMak’s College of Continuing, Advanced and Professional Studies, the Development Academy of the Philippines, and the Philippine Society for Public Administration.

Under the program, students have to complete 10 modules for the different clusters of subjects. Ramos said Pacquiao completed his modules in a span of 16 months. The boxer-turned-lawmaker graduated in December 2019.

Ramos also pointed out that UMak is a public school and is already funded by the local government of Makati. “UMak is not a for-profit institution. We don’t need money as we are greatly provided [for],” Ramos said.

Pacquiao says he is taking his master’s degree in public administration at the Philippine Christian University, according to a vlog uploaded by broadcaster Karen Davila on Saturday, June 19.

“Banat News TV” earlier claimed that Pacquiao had been disqualified from the 2022 elections. This is also false. – Owenh Toledo/Rappler.com

Owenh Toledo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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