Dean Froilan Bacungan explained why he allowed Imee to enroll but not graduate
See for yourself: Imee Marcos is NOT in UP’s 1983 official yearbook of graduates
My thanks to all those who leaked the documents to me
By Raïssa Robles
I always knew that Imee Marcos, daughter of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, never graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law.
I heard this directly from the UP law professors who had her as a student or were teaching there at that time.
I heard this directly from my father, the late Prof. Jose F. Espinosa, who became UP Law evening dean and who was one of Imee Marcos’ professors and, briefly, her tutor.
I heard this directly from Professors Ed Labitag, Carmelo Sison, Myrna Feliciano, Haydee Yorac, and even from UP law dean Irene Cortes (my godmother in my confirmation).
I was told that because Imee did not fulfill all the requirements for graduating from UP Law, they held graduation ceremonies just for her and her parents.
At that time, though, I had attributed her not finishing and graduating to her pregnancy.
I remember that she was heavy with child when she and I had tutorial lessons inside my father’s office in the UP College of Law. The tutorials were about the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas, which my father was teaching then at the University of Santo Tomas. (Among his students before were Fr. Sonny Ramirez, former Senator Francisco Tatad and Jullie Yap-Daza.)
Imee would enter the room wearing a caftan or a long peasant dress. Her bodyguards never entered the room but stayed discreetly outside.
After a few sessions, she disappeared.
Later, she sent my dad a big box of chocolate-covered Macadamia Nuts from Hawaii, where she had given birth to her first son, Borgy.
Looking at Fernando Martin “Borgy” Manotoc’s date of birth, he was born on April 9, 1983.
Graduations in UP usually take place around that time. So I wonder if Imee’s “graduation” took place before or after she gave birth.
As proof of her “graduation”, Imee’s official Facebook page recently posted photos of a ceremony that took place in Meralco Theater, but did not say WHEN it took place.
Her classmates, who included International Criminal Court Judge Raul Pangalangan, UP President Danny Concepcion, lawyers Sigfrid Fortun and JV Bautista, would know. One of Imee’s classmates is dead. His name was William Chua. He later joined Prof. Yorac in defending human rights victims.
Imee also claimed to have graduated “with honors” from UP Law – as a cum laude graduate.
If she did graduate cum laude, it is highly unusual to note that she did not say she was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, to which all honor graduates become members after paying a small joining fee. She could have easily become a member since she had claimed to have graduated with honors from two universities – from UP Law and from Princeton University, where she majored in Religion and Politics.
UP Diliman executive vice-president Teodoro Herbosa recently said there is no proof in the UP records that she ever graduated. Herbosa said Imee took non-degree courses (meaning, she sat in classes without having to take any tests or fulfill any course requirements ) from 1976 to 1977 at the College of Arts and Sciences in UP Diliman.
Later, she enrolled at the UP College of Law from 1979 to 1983.
At the time of her enrollment in UP Law, the law dean was Prof. Froilan Bacungan. He is now dead but in 1986, he was interviewed by German journalist Marilies von Brevern (whom I had met and had dinner with several times in the mid-1980s).
Marilies went around with this huge tape recorder talking to various personalities. Among those she interviewed was former UP law dean Bacungan, who was by then a Commission on Elections commissioner. Marilies can be formidable and she asked Dean Bacungan the right questions. She was able to ask him about Imee Marcos – probably the first ever to ask him about it and get a very frank answer.
Bacungan told Marilies:
But while I have good personal feelings for Marcos, he never asked me to do anything wrong. It’s very difficult to justify something illegal. As long as there is a legal basis, I am one who is not likely to go out of my way to make corrections. You know, there was this problem with Imee, the President’s eldest daughter. I allowed her to enter the College of Law, in spite of the fact that she couldn’t present a certificate proving that she had a bachelor’s degree which was the basic requirement. “I don’t have it now,” she explained. “Our classes here start in June and American universities end in June.” 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 that she couldn’t take the bar examination . . . .
To read the rest, please look at the PDF below, an excerpt from Marilies’ book, The Turning Point:
Twenty-six accounts of February events in the Philippines:
In addition, Imee Marcos’ photo is nowhere to be found in the list of law graduates in the 1983 edition of Philippinensian – the yearbook of UP graduates.
See for yourself below.
Among the most important qualifications for a senator is HONESTY.
Not brilliance, not good looks, but plain and simple HONESTY.
Why did Imee Marcos lie to her supporters, friends and the Filipino people FOR 36 YEARS that she had graduated from the UP College of Law when she did not?
If she can lie about THAT, what else has she been lying about?
She can still prove she told the truth by ordering UP Diliman to release her FULL TRANSCRIPT OF RECORDS for all the years she studied in UP.