A. Qualifications, election, and term of the President and Vice-President

Frequency: ★★★★★ | Probability: ★★★★★

1. Qualifications

a. President

Qualifications to be President:
No person may be elected President unless he is:
1) A natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
2) A registered voter;
3) Able to read and write;
4) At least forty (40) years of age on the day of the election; and
5) A resident of the Philippines for at least ten (10) years immediately preceding such election. (Section 2, Article VII, Ibid.)

b. Vice-President

Same qualifications. There shall be a Vice-President who shall have the same qualifications and term of office and be elected with and in the same manner as the President. He may be removed from office in the same manner as the President. (Section 3, Article VII, Ibid.)

Cabinet Member – at the prerogative of the President. The Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation. (Paragraph 2, Section 3, Article VII, Ibid.)

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BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question VI-A, Political Law, 2017 Bar Exam)

The President appoints the Vice President as his Administration’s Housing Czar, a position that requires the appointee to sit in the Cabinet. Although the appointment of the members of the Cabinet requires confirmation by the Commission on Appointment (CA), the Office of the President does not submit the appointment to the CA. May the Vice President validly sit in the Cabinet? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

Yes. Answer

Under the 1987 Constitution, the Vice-President may be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet. Such appointment requires no confirmation. Rule

In the case at bar, the President appointed the Vice-President as the Administration’s Czar resulting in the Vice-President becoming a Member of the Cabinet. As provided in the Constitution, the appointment does not require confirmation by the Commission on Appointments. Apply

Thus, the Vice President may validly sit in the Cabinet. Conclusion

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2. Election

a. Direct vote

Direct vote. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six (6) 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. (Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

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

Election day: 2nd Monday of May. Unless otherwise provided by law, the regular election for President and Vice-President shall be held on the second Monday of May. (Paragraph 3, Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

b. Limitations on reelection

President – no re-election.  The President shall not be eligible for any reelection. (Ibid.)

Same; Applies if more than 4 years of service. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time. (Ibid.)

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BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question XIX, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

President Alfredo died during his third year in office. In accordance with the Constitution, Vice President Anastasia succeeded him. President Anastasia then nominated the late President Alfredo’s Executive Secretary, Anna Maria, as her replacement as Vice President. The nomination was confirmed by a majority of all the Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, voting separately.

(b) Can Anastasia run as President in the next election? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

Yes. Answer

Under 1987 Constitution, no person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time. Rule

In the case at bar, Anastacia will be serving less than four years as President as she assumed office for the remaining three years of office of the previous president. Apply

Thus, Anastasia can run as President in the next election. Conclusion

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Vice-President – 2 consecutive terms limit. No Vice-President shall serve for more than two consecutive terms.

Voluntary renunciation – not an interruption. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full term for which he was elected. (Paragraph 2, Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

3. Procedure for Election Returns

a. Certified and transmitted to Congress

The returns of every election for President and Vice-President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to the Congress, directed to the President of the Senate. (Paragraph 4, Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

b. Senate President: Open certificates

Open certificates of canvass – within 30 days. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate shall, not later than thirty (30) days after the day of the election, open all certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes. (Ibid.)

c. Congress: Proclaim elected President and Vice-President

Highest number of votes. The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected. (Ibid.)

If equal and highest number of votes. In case two or more shall have an equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately. (Paragraph 5, Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

Rules for canvassing. The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the certificates. (Paragraph 6, Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

d. Supreme Court En Banc: Sole judge of all contests

The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose. (Last paragraph, Section 4, Article VII, Ibid.)

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BAR EXAM QUESTION

(Question III, Political Law, 2018 Bar Exam)

What and whose vote is required for the following acts: (2% each)

(d) the resolution of a tie in a presidential election;

Majority vote of all members of Congress, voting separately

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4. Oath of Office / Affirmation

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 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.) (Section 5, Article VII, Ibid.)

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