Politiko - Enrile warns vs usurper: Only Vice President takes over when presidency becomes vacant

27 September 2020

By Politiko

Only the country’s vice president can assume the presidency if it suddenly becomes vacant, according to former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.

In his latest post on Facebook, Enrile pointed out that the vice president is the direct successor of the president under the country’s constitutional line of succession.

The former lawmaker said any person who takes over the top post other than the vice president will be a usurper.

“Someone asked this question: ‘What do you think will happen if suddenly the Philippine Presidency becomes vacant for whatever reason?’ My brief answer is: “When the Philippine Presidency suddenly becomes vacant, the Vice President takes over immediately without any interregnum,” he said

“No other one can assume the presidency except the Vice President. Anyone who assumes the presidency other than the Vice President will be a usurper, an illegitimate claimant of the presidential position,” he said.

Enrile also mentioned a famous quote from Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle: “Woe to him that claims obedience when it is not due; woe to him that refuses it when it is.”

Enrile said the presidential line of succession stated in the Constitution must be respected. He warned against toying with the country’s Constitution.

“Let us not toy with the Constitution, no matter what we think about it. It is the only integrating document for us to be one people and one country,” he said.

“Let us respect the presidential rule of succession,” he added.