VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Post revives UNTRUE claim about Pacquiao’s college degree

A Facebook (FB) post this month revived the false claim that Sen. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao obtained his college diploma in three months. The fact is the senator started his tertiary degree in August 2018 and graduated in December 2019.

The misleading graphic, which compared the senator-athlete with Shigemi Hirata, the world’s oldest college graduate at 96 years old, was uploaded on Sept. 26 on the public FB groups ito ang reyalidad! and ONLINE KOPYAHAN(2).

A photo of Pacquiao was juxtaposed with Hirata’s, and labeled him as the “world’s fastest college graduate at 3 months.”

While Hirata indeed holds the record as the oldest college graduate, according to the Guinness World Records, the claim on Pacquiao is wrong. He spent 16 months completing his degree through the College of Continuing, Advanced and Professional Studies (CCAPS) program of the University of Makati (UMak).

According to the university’s website, the program is designed specifically for professionals and is “anchored on the key principle that what one learns in the workplace must count as academic credits.”

VERA Files Fact Check has debunked similar claims concerning Pacquiao’s college degree. (Read VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Claim that Pacquiao obtained college degree in three months NEEDS CONTEXT and VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Pacquiao graduated from CCAPS program in UMak; degree not fake)

The assumption that Pacquiao got his diploma in three months likely stemmed from a post on his Instagram account. In September 2019, Pacquiao revealed that he was taking a bachelor’s degree in political science and local governance by posting a picture of his school identification card. The following December, he posted a photo of himself during graduation holding his diploma.

The misleading post emerged a week after Pacquiao announced his bid for the presidency on Sept. 19.

The post from ito ang reyalidad! gained more than 3,500 shares and 4,000 reactions.The group has over 230,000 members. ONLINE KOPYAHAN(2)’s has so far received over 3,800 shares and 5,000 reactions. It has about 109,000 members.

(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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