MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections clarified that candidates may take oaths even before the end of June as long as they officially assume their respective positions by 12:01 p.m. on June 30.
In a press briefing held Tuesday afternoon, Comelec Commissioner George Garcia explained that there have been other elected officials who held their oath taking even before the supposed inauguration provided under the 1987 Constitution.
“I will not answer specifically as regards to the vice president-elect taking her oath in advance… but I just want to cite an example, there have been many instances where winning congressmen, senators immediately conduct their oath taking before a notary public, a judge, or a barangay captain right after their proclamation,” Garcia said in a mix of English and Filipino.
He said this is common practice among winning local candidates, as some of them would want to celebrate already. However, Garcia clarified that their oath should be what is stated under the constitution.
“[The] formal oath can happen later so it may be possible that you can take your oath now and then you’ll have another oath later. There is no prohibition that you will have several oaths,” Garcia said.
This comes after Davao city mayor and presumptive vice president-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio has expressed intent to hold her inauguration earlier than the end-June proclamation.
Duterte-Carpio said she is hoping to take oath in Davao city on June 19. She says she also wanted to attend the oath taking of running mate presidential-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Over on Twitter, columnist Manuel Quezon III pointed out that Duterte-Carpio will be taking her oath before the president-elect on June 30. “She is expected to be with the President-elect,” Quezon said.
While the official canvassing for the president and vice president will begin once Congress resumes session next week, the partial and unofficial tally of this year’s national elections shows Duterte-Carpio and Marcos Jr. leading by a wide margin.
Duterte-Carpio leads by over 22 million votes with 31.561 million versus Sen. Francis Pangilinan with 9.232 million votes.
Meanwhile, Marcos. Jr. leads with over 16 million votes, garnering 31.104 million versus Vice President Leni Robredo with 14.822 million.