Inauguration talks as presumptive VP-elect eyes earlier date than Constitution prescription

May 17, 2022 - 2:28 PM
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Vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio, daughter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, waves to her supporters during the first day of campaign period for the 2022 presidential election, at the Philippine Arena, in Bocaue, Bulacan province, Philippines, February 8, 2022. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David/File Photo)

Protocols of official inaugurations were discussed online after it was reported that a presumptive vice president-elect is planning to take her oath a week before the official term of the incumbent ends.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced that she plans to hold her inauguration as the country’s 15th vice president on June 19, eleven days before the 1987 Constitution expects her to take office.

The presidential daughter said that she would take her oath in their hometown, Davao City, after being declared the winner of the 2022 elections jointly by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Duterte-Carpio revealed that she wanted to honor her fellow Davaoeños by letting them personally witness her oathtaking.

She has been its city mayor since 2016, and from 2010 to 2013.

“The Dabawenyos’ patience made me the public servant that I am today, it is only fitting to honor them the opportunity to witness the oathtaking,” Duterte-Carpio said in a statement.

“Once the winning candidates are proclaimed, you can already take 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,” she was quoted in another report.

“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 added.

The city mayor said that she wanted to attend the inauguration of her election running mate, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, as well.

“It will be conducted earlier than the traditional June 30 event because I also want to attend the oathtaking of President Marcos,” Duterte-Carpio said.

She added, however, that her work as vice president will only begin on June 30.

According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the term of the president and vice president “shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election.”

In 2016, incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo held separate inaugurations. However, both were held on June 30.

At that time, then-executive assistant Bong Go said that Duterte wanted a separate ceremony due to logistical considerations.

Robredo’s camp adhered, despite initially preparing for a joint inauguration to take place.

Their predecessors, late president Benigno Aquino III and former vice president Jejomar Binay, held a joint oathtaking ceremony despite the latter not being the running mate of Aquino in the elections.

Meanwhile, historian and columnist Manuel Quezon III questioned Duterte-Carpio’s preference for an earlier inauguration.

“Her term begins on June 30, 2022. She takes her oath before the President-elect. She is expected to be with the President-elect!” he tweeted.

Quezon also shared a briefing on the inauguration tradition which happened during Aquino and Binay’s time.

The vice president was inaugurated first at 11:50 a.m. By noon, Aquino had his oathtaking and inaugural speech.

Another historian, Kristoffer Pasion, also noted that Robredo has not yet concluded her term by June 19, Duterte-Carpio’s preference for the ceremony date.

“This is an affront to VP Leni too—a violation of what the Constitution has clearly defined. It says the term ends at ‘noon on the thirtieth day of June,'” he tweeted.

An inauguration is defined as “a ceremonial induction into office.”

It is further defined as an “act of officially putting someone into an important position, or the ceremony at which this is done.”