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NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 26 May) – The proclamation on Wednesday of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Sara Duterte as elected president and elected vice president, respectively, of the country is far from the end of the 2022 presidential elections.

This is because the Supreme Court has entertained the petitions to cancel the candidacy of Marcos, Jr.

If the Court decides in favor of the petitioners, that is, cancel Marcos, Jr.’s certificate of candidacy, the guessing game is who would become the 17th President of the Philippines?

One theory posits that since Marcos, Jr. was already proclaimed as president-elect, his successor, if he is disqualified and fails to assume the post, is legally the vice president-elect Sara Duterte. 

It looks like Sara Duterte is readying for this eventuality. She is reported to have already scheduled earlier her inauguration as VP on June 19, 10 days ahead of the Constitution-mandated 30 June date of inauguration. Nothing, accordingly, is wrong with this advance oath-taking, except that she can only officially assume her post on 12 o’clock noon of June 30. Whatever, if Marcos does not qualify Sara Duterte by then already the official Vice President of the country succeeds him and takes over the Presidency?

But not so quick. Would she or not she?

The cancellation of Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy means that he was disqualified to run for the presidency ab initio and the votes cast to his name are considered stray votes. Logically, the qualified candidate who garnered the highest number of votes becomes the elected president of the country. 

That would be no other than Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

It’s mind-boggling to speculate how the Commission on Elections and Congress handle this possibility.

It’s not only fun but truly exciting in the Philippines. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)

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