Candidates who have been proclaimed winners in the May 9 elections may take their oath even before formally assuming their posts on June 30, the Commission on Elections said Tuesday.
The poll body made the clarification as netizens question the plan of presumptive vice president Sara Duterte-Carpio to take her oath on June 19, a few days before she officially takes over the post from Vice President Leni Robredo.
"Basta ang usapan lang, mag-a-assume at exactly 12:01 p.m., at number two, dapat yung content ng kanilang oath ay yung nakalagay sa Constitution," said Comelec Commissioner George Erwin Garcia when asked if winning candidates can take their oath before the June 30 assumption.
"Hindi nakalagay doon that the oath should happen at exactly 12 o'clock of June 30," he added.
Garcia, who is also a veteran election lawyer, cited several instances in the past where candidates, especially local officials, take oath before judges, notary publics, or even barangay captains even before they formally assume their posts.
"Yung iba kasi, para lang makapag-party, makapagpakain, makapagpasalamat, nag-o-oath kahit kay kapitan muna. Yung formal oath can happen later," he said.
"So it may be possible that you have taken your oath now, and then you will have another oath later. There is no prohibition that you will have several oaths," he added.
In some cases, candidates take their oath in advance especially if they have pending election-related cases so that the Comelec will lose jurisdiction over them, Garcia said.
However, said there is no pending case against Duterte-Carpio for this condition to apply to her, Garcia said.
Duterte-Carpio reportedly said she intends to take her oath on June 19 in Davao City so that she can attend the oath-taking of her running mate, presumptive president Bongbong Marcos.
Both Marcos and Duterte-Carpio are headed to a landslide win after each garnering over 31 million votes.
The canvassing and proclamation of winners in the presidential and vice presidential race will be done by Congress once it resumes its session later this month.