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D. Rules of succession

1. PRESIDENT

a. Vice-President

1) Issues with the election of the President

a) If President-elect fails to qualify

If the President-elect fails to qualify, the Vice-President-elect shall act as President until the President-elect shall have qualified. (Paragraph 2, Section 7, Article VII, 1987 Constitution)

b) If a President shall not have been chosen

If a President shall not have been chosen, the Vice-President-elect shall act as President until a President shall have been chosen and qualified. (Paragraph 3, Section 7, Article VII, Ibid.)

c) If a President-elect dies or becomes permanently disabled

If at the beginning of the term of the President, the President-elect shall have died or shall have become permanently disabled, the Vice-President-elect shall become President. (Paragraph 4, Section 7, Article VII, Ibid.)

2) Issues with the sitting President

a) President’s death, permanent disability, removal from office, resignation

In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of the President, the Vice-President shall become the President to serve the unexpired term. (Section 8, Article VII, Ibid.)

b) President’s written declaration of inability to discharge powers and duties

Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President. (Section 11, Article VII, Ibid.)

b) Cabinet’s written declaration of inability to discharge powers and duties

Whenever a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. (Paragraph 2, Section 11, Article VII, Ibid.)

(1) Contested by the President

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall reassume the powers and duties of his office. (Paragraph 3, Section 11, Article VII, Ibid.)

(2) Re-affirmation by majority of the Cabinet

Meanwhile, should a majority of all the Members of the Cabinet transmit within five (5) days to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Congress shall decide the issue. (Paragraph 3, Section 11, Article VII, Ibid.)

For that purpose, the Congress shall convene, if it is not in session, within forty-eight (48) hours, in accordance with its rules and without need of call. (Paragraph 3, Section 11, Article VII, Ibid.)

(3) Resolution by Congress, voting separately

If the Congress, within ten (10) days after receipt of the last written declaration, or, if not in session, within twelve (12) days after it is required to assemble, determines by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of both Houses, voting separately, that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice-President shall act as the President; otherwise, the President shall continue exercising the powers and duties of his office. (Last paragraph, Section 11, Article VII, Ibid.)

3) Serious illness of the President

In case of serious illness of the President, the public shall be informed of the state of his health. The Members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall not be denied access to the President during such illness. (Section 12, Article VII, Ibid.)

b. Senate President; then, Speaker of the House

1) Issues with the election of the President and/or Vice-President

Where no President and Vice-President shall have been chosen or shall have qualified, or where both shall have died or become permanently disabled, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall act as President until a President or a Vice-President shall have been chosen and qualified. (Paragraph 5. Section 7, Article VII, Ibid.)

The Congress shall, by law, provide for the manner in which one who is to act as President shall be selected until a President or a Vice-President shall have qualified, in case of death, permanent disability, or inability of the officials mentioned in the next preceding paragraph. (Paragraph 6, Section 7, Article VII, Ibid.)

1) Issues with the sitting President and Vice-President

In case of death, permanent disability, removal from office, or resignation of both the President and Vice-President, the President of the Senate or, in case of his inability, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall then act as President until the President or Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified. (Section 8, Article VII, Ibid.)

The Congress shall, by law, provide who shall serve as President in case of death, permanent disability, or resignation of the Acting President. He shall serve until the President or the Vice-President shall have been elected and qualified, and be subject to the same restrictions of powers and disqualifications as the Acting President. (Paragraph 2, Section 8, Article VII, Ibid.)

2. VICE-PRESIDENT

Whenever there is a vacancy in the Office of the Vice-President during the term for which he was elected, the President shall nominate a Vice-President from among the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives who shall assume office upon confirmation by a majority vote of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately. (Section 9, Article VII, Ibid.)

3. CONGRESS

1) Special election

The Congress shall, at ten o’clock in the morning (10:00 am) of the third day after the vacancy in the offices of the President and Vice-President occurs, convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call and within seven (7) days enact a law calling for a special election to elect a President and a Vice-President to be held not earlier than forty-five (45) days nor later than sixty (60) days from the time of such call. (Section 10, Article VII, Ibid.)

a) Bill calling special election, deemed certified

The bill calling such special election shall be deemed certified under paragraph 2, Section 26, Article VI of this Constitution and shall become law upon its approval on third reading by the Congress. (Section 10, Article VII, Ibid.)

Appropriations for the special election shall be charged against any current appropriations and shall be exempt from the requirements of paragraph 4, Section 25, Article VI of this Constitution. (Section 10, Article VII, Ibid.)

The convening of the Congress cannot be suspended nor the special election postponed. No special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs within eighteen (18) months before the date of the next presidential election. (Section 10, Article VII, Ibid.)

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