BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has given the thumbs up to embattled Deputy Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao after his clarification On Wednesday. The deputy minister addressed his criminal past, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in Australia.
The Prime Minister said today (Thursday) that he monitored Thammanat’s explanation and found it reasonable. Adding, however, that he is not ignoring the controversial issue.
In his clarification, Thammanat claimed he was never sentenced to a prison term and SMH, reported incorrectly. Thammanat admitted that he was held in custody during the plea bargaining process. He then subsequently returned to Thailand a free man with no criminal record. “In Thailand”
The Prime Minister said that Thammanat, like the rest of the cabinet, had passed the official vetting process. Saying that, if Thammanat had failed the vetting process, he would not have been appointed in the first place.
Asked whether it was possible that Thammanat, famous for his role as the government’s fixer, failed to fully disclose details of his background, the Prime Minister said he didn’t think so. He insisted that Thammanat’s qualification issue was settled.
Fresh Allegations his On-Line Doctor of Philosophy Degree Might be Bogus
Meanwhile, on Wednesday Thammanat showed reporters a copy of his Online Doctorate and transcript. In an attempt to refute a social media posting claiming that his doctorate degree was fake.
“I received the degree from US-based California University Los Angeles, not from the Philippines,” he said. Claiming that the California University is an open university, with branch networks in many countries.
CSI LA, a Facebook brought up the issue after it checked his educational records on the House website.
They show he holds a bachelor’s degree from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy and two master’s degrees.
But the degree that raised questions was his PhD. The House database showed he held a doctor of philosophy degree from “Calamus International University”.
CSL LA claimed the university was not accredited and did not exist, according to the Bangkok Post.
The House database website was later changed after the news broke to show he obtained the same degree from California University FCE.
The website now carries warnings against a fake online institution bearing the same out of the Philippines.
Thammanat said that he is now studying for a doctorate at Ratchabhat University’s Suan Sunantha campus.
Source: Bangkok Post, Thai PBS