ABOVE THE LAW

BY AYIN DREAM D. APLASCA

Thursday, October 12, 2017

TWO DAYS ago, I went home late from a court hearing from the northernmost of Iloilo. Almost everyone in the house was already asleep when I arrived except for my sister who was watching a documentary news report.

I sat down beside her and asked what she was watching. I remembered her telling me a friend asked if she was watching that Filipino drama television series about vampires and asked about her opinion. My sister refused to answer because she was a not a fan. However, her friends told her they were enthusiastic because the story was good and the antagonist was about to run for the presidency. That made me wondered. Why?

Of course, it was just a drama series and not a true-to-life story. Nevertheless, a lot of people watch television and learn something that could enlighten them regarding matters they never knew at first. My concern regarding the storyline (though, of course, I have nothing against the scriptwriter) is that the antagonist is running for the highest position in the country.

Well, I am well aware that vampires are immortal. They could live “forever.” Age is not even a number to them. However, for the sake of discussion, let me settle with the fact that the antagonist pretends to be a mortal with the age less than 40 years old (if based on his real life age).

I know this is a little bit funny but I am more keen to share real life basis for running as president – its qualifications, election proper, and oath of office.

Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution provides that no person may be elected President unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, and at least 40 years of age on the day of the election.

The President of the Philippines is both head of state and head of the government of the republic. He is the leader of the executive branch and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Additionally, the President is ineligible for re-election and a person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years will be ineligible to be elected for a second term.

The President is elected by direct vote, usually on the second Monday of May. The returns of every election, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to Congress, directed to the President of the Senate. The latter shall open all certificates in the presence of Congress in a joint public session. He shall do this not later than 30 days after Election Day. Congress then canvasses the votes.

The one who gets the highest number of votes is declared winner. In case, two or more have the highest number of votes, the President is elected by a majority of all members of both House. They vote separately.

The President of the Philippines usually takes the Oath of Office at noon of June 30 following the presidential election.

These are just some of the information provided by law. Just in case you watch again on television regarding presidential elections, at least now you have a background. It’s better if we are familiar and well-informed of the law. Enjoy!

***

(Atty. Ayin Dream D. Aplasca practices her profession in Iloilo City. She may be reached thru ayindream.aplasca@gmail.com/PN)