The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday affirmed that presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte could take her oath days before the current administration steps down from office on June 30.
Comelec Commissioner George Garcia confirmed this in a message to GMA News, but stressed that Duterte will still start her term as the second highest elected official on the afternoon of June 30.
“Puwede naman po basta ang assumption ay June 30 at 12:01 [this is possible as long as the assumption will be on June 30 at 12:01 p.m.],” Garcia said.
Garcia said the 1987 Constitution does not require a vice president to take his or her oath at noon on June 30.
“Hindi nakalagay [sa Constitution] that the oath should happen at exactly 12 o’clock of June 30,” he said at a press conference.
Duterte has set her inauguration date in Davao City on June 19, indicating that she wanted to honor her fellow Davaoeños by making them actually witness her oath-taking as the country's 15th vice president.
As of 2:47 p.m. on Friday, Duterte still maintains a huge lead among other vice presidential candidates with 31,561,948 votes in the partial and unofficial count based on data from the Comelec Transparency Media Server.
Meanwhile, her running mate, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was also leading the presidential race with 31,104,175 votes as of the same period in the same partial and unofficial count.
A total of 55,197,306 votes out of the 67,442,616 registered voters have already come in as of posting. A total of 98.35% of the election returns have been processed so far. —KG/VBL, GMA News