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‘Nothing unlawful with early VP oathtaking’

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star
âNothing unlawful with early VP oathtakingâ
This photo release shows Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, running-mate of presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos, in a campaign caravan in Quezon on December 1.
Bongbong Marcos campaign Facebook release

MANILA, Philippines — There is nothing unlawful with the plan of presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio to take her oath of office on June 19, a law expert has said.

Former University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law dean Pacifico Agabin said the plan of Duterte-Carpio to take her oath ahead of the usual June 30 schedule is allowed under the 1987 Constitution.

“What the Constitution says is the president and vice president should take their oath before assuming office.

It doesn’t say they have to take it simultaneously. The one may take the oath ahead of the other,” he explained in an interview.

Agabin said what the law requires is for the candidate to be proclaimed first before he or she could take an oath of office.

“Before she takes her oath, she has to be proclaimed by Congress first as the winner in the vice presidential race.

Theoretically we don’t know yet the official winner until proclamation by Congress,” he stressed.

The Congress is expected to proclaim the winners in the presidential and vice presidential elections this coming Friday, May 27.

Agabin further pointed out that the early inaugural of the incoming vice president will not affect the term of the outgoing vice president, defeated presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

“Oath-taking is only symbolic.

The term of the vice president starts at noon of June 30,” he clarified.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia earlier issued the same opinion.

“The Constitution does not say that the oath should be made at exactly 12 noon of June 30. If you can recall, two former presidents took their oath at 11:45 a.m. and not exactly 12 noon, meaning to say it could be done earlier,” he explained.

Garcia said many election winners take their oaths in advance of their date of assumption to office while some even took their oath several times.

Earlier this week, Duterte-Carpio said she plans to take her oath on June 19 to be able to attend the inaugural of running mate and presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on June 30.

SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO

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