FACT CHECK: Post-oathtaking, Sara Duterte still VP-elect until assumption on June 30

The claim of Facebook Page Nick Nañgit – NCN Law that incoming Vice President Sara Duterte must no longer be referred to as Vice President-elect after taking her oath of office last Sunday, 19 June, as the 15th Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, is false.

In a post on 19 June, the Facebook Page says: 

“VP SARA, NOT VP-ELECT SARA

Bakit mahalaga ito?

Dahil maliwanag na nanunumpa siya sa katungkulan ng isang Bise Presidente sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon.

Nakasaad sa Art. VII, Sek. 5 ang sumusunod:

“Sec 5  Before they enter on the execution of their office, the President, the Vice-President, or the Acting President shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President (or VICE-PRESIDENT [all caps supplied] or Acting President) of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.” (In case of affirmation, last sentence will be omitted.)”

However, Article VII Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution stated: “The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date, six years thereafter.”

The President-elect and the Vice President-elect shall assume office at the beginning of their terms, Article VII Section 7 added.

The Davao City Government Facebook Page and Duterte herself also clearly referred to her as the Vice President-elect even after her oath-taking. 

Traditionally, those elected Presidents and Vice Presidents took their oaths of office almost at the exact day of the start of their terms, which is at noon of June 30 of every national election year. 

The case for Vice President-elect Duterte was different, as she opted to have her oathtaking in Davao City ahead of the start of her term, in order to give her constituents the chance to witness a historic moment for the daughter of the city. Duterte earlier said she wanted to take her oath in Davao City because it is “instrumental in shaping her up as a public servant.” https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2022/05/presumptive-vice-president-sara-duterte-to-hold-oath-taking-in-davao-city/

But Duterte taking her oath as Vice President before the start of her term is not new. Several previous vice presidents have done what she did, taking inauguration before the President-elect could. https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1615433/vp-inaugurations-making-and-breaking-traditions

As she took her oath for the country’s second highest position, Duterte remained as the mayor of Davao City.  

In current Davao City Government social media materials, Davao City’s official Facebook pages refer to outgoing Mayor Duterte either as Mayor Sara, Vice-President elect and outgoing Mayor

At the 2:19 mark of Vice-President Elect Sara Duterte’s inaugural speech in this official video taken by government media agency Radio Television Malacanang (RTVM), Duterte refers to herself as the Vice President-elect. 

“When I committed myself to governance and public service, I was also determined to finish three consecutive terms as Mayor. That will not happen anymore. I am now the Vice President-Elect.”

Here is the complete texts of her inaugural speech: https://www.mindanews.com/mindaviews/2022/06/we-should-commit-to-heart-the-priorities-of-god-country-and-family/

In a statement from her camp on June 21 announcing the designation of his new spokesperson, Duterte is still being referred to as the Vice President-elect and not Vice President. https://mb.com.ph/2022/06/21/vp-elect-duterte-names-former-pcgg-exec-as-spokesperson/

As of Thursday, 23 June, the post of Facebook Page Nick Nañgit – NCN Law has gathered at least 1,359 reactions, 61 comments, and 54 shares. 

Vice President Leni Robredo, whom Duterte will replace, has still seven days until she ends her term as of this posting Thursday, 23 June 2022.

As with all our other reports, MindaNews welcomes leads or suggestions from the public to potential fact-check stories. (Yas D. Ocampo / MindaNews)

(This fact-check piece was produced with the support of Internews’ Philippine Fact-Checker Incubator Project.)