COMELEC-6 chief: No law forbids sitting president from running as vice-prexy

Commission on Elections-6 director Atty. Dennis Ausan/iNEWS (Photo from the web)

ILOILO CITY–A sitting president can no longer seek re-election for the same position when his six-year term reaches near-completion. This was made perfectly clear in our Constitution, says Commission on Elections-6 director Atty. Dennis Ausan.

Other than that though, as far as the country’s charter is concerned, there is no other prohibition that would forbid the president to run for any other elective office after his term as the highest elective official in the Philippines has expired.

Even then, Ausan said he can’t remember an instance when a sitting president actually ran for the vice-presidential post immediately after his incumbency as president, although then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sought the congressional post as 2nd district of Pampanga representative immediately after leaving Malacañan Palace in 2010.

Only recently, a resolution signed by several members of the PDP-Laban party, under which President Rodrigo Duterte ran and won the presidency in 2016, went the rounds of media asking for him to seek the vice-presidential post in next year’s national and local elections.

Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the PDP-Laban president, however, was quick to label the said resolution “not authorized” by the party leadership.

The COMELEC regional chief, meanwhile, averred that there are only a couple of instances when a vice-president can replace the duly-elected president, like in the event of death or resignation of the incumbent president.

This, after talks circulated that Sen. Bong Go, a long-time assistant of Duterte as Davao City mayor prior to winning the presidency in 2016, will be seeking the country’s top executive post in the 2022 polls with a ‘plan’ to resign shortly after to set the stage for another six years of a Duterte presidency.

These talks were fueled by the results of a February 2021 Pulse Asia pre-election survey that the tandem of Go and Duterte as candidates for president and vice-president will dominate and win the national polls if elections were held today.

Earlier, Go had said he would consider running for president “if and only if President Duterte would be my vice-presidential candidate.”

Meanwhile, Ausan confirmed that the COMELEC has scheduled September 1 to 28 this year as the inclusive period in which political parties can hold conventions to nominate and eventually pick candidates for all positions for next year’s national and local elections.

Before or after the said dates, it would be deemed unlawful for political parties to hold conventions for that purpose. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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