MANILA — A Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner on Tuesday said it is not illegal for any winner of the elections who has been duly and officially proclaimed to take his or her oath of office before the June 30 assumption of office.
"Kung natataandaan ko, 2 former presidents before took their oath at 11:45 a.m. not exactly at 12 meaning to say puwede naman pala mas maaga," said Commissioner George Garcia.
He made the comment amid criticisms and questions on presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte’s decision to hold her own inauguration on June 19— 11 days before she and other winners of the May 9 elections are constitutionally mandated to assume office on June 30.
"Hindi nakalagay doon that the oath should happen at exactly 12 o clock of June 30," Garcia added.
Garcia said many elections winners take their oaths in advance of their assumption office. They may even take their oath any number of times.
"Wala naman tayong nakikita na problema," he added.
Unofficial tally of votes sourced from the Comelec server showed that Duterte got more than 31.56 million votes, based on 98.35 percent of election returns that have been transmitted.
Trailing her are Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who got 9.23 million votes, and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who received 8.18 million votes.