Comelec: ‘No problem’ with Sara Duterte’s inauguration as VP ahead of June 30
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) does not see a problem with presumptive vice president Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio holding her inauguration on June 19, even if the 1987 Constitution states that she can only assume office on June 30.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia said the Constitution does not state that an elected president and vice president should take oath at exactly 12 noon on June 30.
“Two former presidents before took their oath at 11:45 a.m., not exactly at 12 o’clock so meaning to say, pwede naman parang mas maaga,” Garcia said in a press briefing.
(Two former presidents before took their oath at 11:45 a.m., not exactly at 12 o’clock so meaning to say you can take an oath earlier than that.)
“Basta ang usapan lang ‘yung mago-oath, number 1, maga-assume at exactly 12 o’clock [on June 30] at number 2, dapat ‘yung content ng kanilang oath ay ‘yun ang nakalagay sa Constitution,” he added.
(As long as, number one, you will only officially assume your post at exactly 12 o’clock on June 30 and number 2, the content of your oath should be what is stated in the Constitution.)
Garcia made the remark after Duterte-Carpio announced her plans to hold her inauguration on June 19 in Davao City.
Article VII, Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution states that the president and the vice president “shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date six years thereafter.”
“As to whether the oath should happen at exactly 12 o’clock, marami na tayong nangyaring nanalong presidente kahit si Barack Obama nga at si Donald Trump na parehas sa provision ng Constitution natin, nag-oath sila even several minutes before 12 o’clock,” Garcia said.
(As to whether the oath should happen at exactly 12 o’clock, there have been instances where the winning president—such as United States Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump who have the same provision in the Constitution as us—they took oath several minutes before 12 o’clock.)
“Is that a violation of the Constitution? Nobody questioned,” he added.
Garcia also cited instances where congressmen and senators took oath immediately after being proclaimed.
Asked if this means that what Duterte-Carpio intends to do is not illegal, Garcia said: “Wala naman tayong nakikita na problema (We don’t see a problem with that).”