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22 January 2016, 12:45 pm – VARIOUS news websites report Vice President Jejomar Binay, the frontrunner in the presidential race according to the latest Social Weather Stations survey, to have obtained a master of laws degree from UST. The Varsitarian did a check, and here’s what we found.

The narratives on Binay’s Thomasian background are conflicting. The “Vice President’s Corner” of the official website of the Office of the Vice President says: “He passed the bar exams in 1968, and took masteral subjects in public administration and law in UP and the University of Sto. Tomas, respectively.”

But we also found two identical curricula vitae of Binay uploaded to two government websites, that of the Pag-IBIG Fund and the National Housing Authority, which the vice president had headed as housing czar in the cabinet of President Benigno Aquino III.
‘Academically completed’
Both documents state that Binay “academically completed” his master of laws in UST in 1980. It’s unclear whether this means he finished the coursework without earning the degree, or he earned the degree after passing the comprehensive examinations and defending a thesis. Binay also “academically completed” his master’s in public administration at the University of the Philippines, and “graduated with honors” at the National Defense College of the Philippines with a master’s in national security administration.
At any rate, a profile of the vice president on the website of the Philippine Star, posted in October 2015, says Binay “passed the bar exams and obtained his masters from the University of Santo Tomas and other post-graduate degrees from other institutions.”
The online profile of Binay on TV5’s Bilang Pilipino says he “has master’s degrees from the University of Santo Tomas (law), the National Defense College (national security administration), and the Philippine Christian University (management).”
We went to the  UST Office of the Registrar to verify. The Varsitarian was told that Binay took master’s subjects in law in the University, but was not able to finish his studies and attain the degree.
Binay was enrolled in UST from the second semester of academic year 1976-1977 to the second semester of academic year 1979-1980, according to UST records.
A spokesman for the Binay camp, former broadcast journalist and Cainta mayor Mon Ilagan, said he was unable to comment as he had yet to see the vice president’s academic records from UST.
Roxas, Marcos
Two national candidates have previously come under the microscope for their academic credentials. Last month, Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas, was accused by Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte of PDP-Laban of falsely claiming to be a Wharton graduate, or giving the impression that he has an MBA from the prestigious Wharton business school.
Roxas countered that he never claimed to be a Wharton MBA, only that he finished the degree bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton undergraduate division of the University of Pennsylvania. Roxas’ profile on the Senate website states that he “graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1974 and the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.” The Senate profile however does not say that what Roxas finished in 1974 at the Ateneo was his high school degree, and Duterte’s camp points out that such omission makes the impression that Roxas finished college at the Ateneo and graduate school at Wharton.
In March last year, news website Rappler questioned Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s claim that he obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from Oxford University. Rappler’s check with Oxford found that Marcos, who is running for vice president, obtained only a special diploma in social studies in 1978.



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