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Presumptive VP Sara Duterte plans to have her inauguration ahead of June 30, but is that allowed by the Constitution?

By AYIE LICSI Published May 17, 2022 12:07 pm

Presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio is eyeing to hold her inauguration on June 19, ahead of the traditional June 30 date as stated in the 1987 Constitution. Her early oath-taking plans leave a question in mind: Is she allowed to do that?

On May 16, the Davao City Mayor said the June 19 schedule was so she could attend the oathtaking of her running mate, presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"Once the winning candidates are proclaimed, you can already take an oath anytime. We have set a date, but we have not planned it yet because we do not know the exact date of the proclamation. It could be after June 19. But we have set a date just in case the proclamation will happen, (and that's) June 19," Duterte-Carpio said in Cebuano.

Additionally, she wants to have her inauguration in Davao City. "It is only fitting to honor [Davaoenos] the opportunity to witness the oath-taking."

Inauguration according to tradition

According to Article VII Section 4 of the Constitution, the vice president's, as well as the president's, term begins on June 30. 

"The President and Vice President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the 30th day of June next day following the day of election and shall end at noon of the same date six years thereafter."

Duterte-Carpio will take over from outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo. What will the presumptive VP's early inauguration mean?

"Even if she takes her oath before the President does, her term will only officially begin on the 30th day of June," University of the Philippines constitutional law professor Dante Gatmaytan told PhilSTAR L!fe.

"The Constitution says her term of office begins on June 30. She does not become vice-president just because she takes her oath on the 19th. Despite an earlier oath, she does not assume office until June 30," he added.

After former president Manuel L. Quezon's time, past vice presidents have been sworn in after the president. In 2016, however, the inauguration for the country's two top posts were held separately on the same day—President Rodrigo Duterte's at Malacañang Palace and Robredo's at the Quezon City Reception House.

Duterte-Carpio also stressed that her work as VP will only begin on the 30th.

Based on the partial and unofficial count of the Commission on Elections, the presidential daughter leads the VP race with her 31.5 million votes.

Rivals Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan is at a distant second with over 9.2 million votes while Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III is third with 8.1 million votes.

Duterte-Carpio will be succeeded by her younger brother Vice Mayor Sebastian "Baste" Duterte as Davao City mayor. The presidential daughter has also been offered by Marcos Jr. to be the next Education secretary, which she has accepted despite eyeing a Defense post.