Are 2016 VP bets truthful about academic degrees?

Michael Bueza
Are 2016 VP bets truthful about academic degrees?
Rappler looks at the academic degrees listed in the public profiles of the 6 candidates for vice president to check if these are accurate or if the claims have been corrected


READ: Are 2016 presidential bets truthful about academic degrees?

MANILA, Philippines – Are the 6 candidates for vice president as truthful as their presidential candidates when it comes to academic achievements?

We checked on these claims, excluding diploma courses, fellowship programs, and honoris causa degrees that the candidates have finished and/or received. Here’s what we found.

Alan Peter Cayetano

Degrees Confirmed?
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
University of the Philippines (UP), 1993
Juris Doctor (2nd Honors)
Ateneo Law School, 1997

Francis “Chiz” Escudero

Degrees Confirmed?
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
University of the Philippines, 1988*
Bachelor of Laws
University of the Philippines, 1993
Master in International and Comparative Law
Georgetown University Law Center, 1996

* A minor note: Escudero’s official website says he enrolled for his BA Political Science at UP Diliman from 1985 to 1989, then his Bachelor of Laws from 1989 to 1993.

A certification from the UP Office of the University Registrar shows that Escudero “studied from June 1985 to October 1988 and from November 1987 to April 1993. He graduated with the degrees of Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) and Bachelor of Laws on Oct 23, 1988 and Apr 24, 1993, respectively.”

Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan

Degrees Confirmed?
Took up Bachelor of Arts in Economics*
University of the Philippines, 1967
Bachelor of Science
Philippine Military Academy (PMA), 1971
Master in Business Management
Asian Institute of Management (AIM), 1981

*Another interesting note: On his Senate profile, Honasan says he “took up Economics at the University of the Philippines. He then went on to the Philippine Military Academy.”

The UP registrar’s certification reveals additional details on Honasan’s stay in UP. He “was enrolled from the First Semester 1965-66 until the First Semester 1966-67 at the University College, working towards the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.”

Honasan then “shifted to Bachelor of Arts (Economics) during the Second Semester 1966-67. He earned a total of 15 academic units.”

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr

Degrees Confirmed?
Special Diploma in Social Studies
Oxford University, 1978
Graduate Coursework in Business Administration
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 1981

The degrees listed above are not the original ones posted on his Senate profile. His profile initially said Marcos had a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University. He then claimed to have earned a master in business administration (MBA) degree from Wharton.

Rappler’s fact-checking in February 2015 revealed that his name did not appear on the class list – or the roll of students who successfully completed their degrees – at Oxford in 1978. Meanwhile, his Wharton MBA degree was unfinished, as attested to by a University of Pennsylvania professor. His name likewise didn’t appear in UPenn’s alumni database. (READ: EXCLUSIVE: Did Bongbong Marcos lie about Oxford, Wharton?)

Shortly after the publication of Rappler’s story, Marcos corrected his résumé on the Senate website.

Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo

Degrees Confirmed?
Bachelor of Arts in Economics
University of the Philippines, 1986
Bachelor of Laws
University of Nueva Caceres (UNC), 1992*

Her official website says that after graduating from the UP School of Economics, she “took up her degree in Law from the University of Nueva Caceres in 1990.”

The UNC registrar confirmed that Robredo “graduated from this University with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) on March 21, 1992.” Robredo was enrolled from Second Semester SY 1986-1987 to Second Semester SY 1991-1992.

Antonio Trillanes IV

Degrees Confirmed?
Bachelor of Science in Naval System Engineering
Philippine Military Academy, 1995
Master of Public Administration
University of the Philippines, 2005

In addition, Trillanes wrote on his Senate résumé that he took up his BS Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering (ECE) at De La Salle University (DLSU) until his 4th year in 1991, when he entered the Philippine Military Academy.

The verification of this information is still ongoing, though, as Trillanes’ camp has yet to provide Rappler with an authorization letter required by DLSU. –

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Michael Bueza

Michael is a data curator under Rappler's Tech Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.