Vice President of the Philippines
|Vice President of the Philippines
Pangalawang Pangulo ng Pilipinas
The Honorable (alternative)
|Term length||Six years|
|Inaugural holder||Mariano Trías|
|Formation||March 22, 1897
November 15, 1935
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Vice President of the Philippines (Filipino: Pangalawang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, informally, "Ang Pangalawang Pangulo" or "Bise Presidente" derived from Spanish), is the second-highest executive official of the government of the Philippines, after the President. The current official residence of the Vice President of the Philippines is the Coconut Palace. Prior to Binay, the office of the VP as housed in the CCP Complex, Manila for many years.
The Vice-President of Philippines is the first in the Philippine line of succession, assuming the Presidency upon the death, resignation, or removal by impeachment and subsequent conviction of the incumbent. The position was abolished by Martial Law in 1972, and was not included in the original text of the 1973 Constitution. Amendments to this version restored the position in time for the "snap" elections of 1986. The present constitution retains the position. Unlike other countries, the Vice President has no official responsibilities other than those assigned by the incumbent President, somewhat similar to the role played by the Vice President of the United States. Traditions governing the position date back to the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and its inaugural holder, Sergio Osmeña (while there was a similarly named position in governments prior to the First Philippine Republic, the position did not exist under what is considered the first official national government set up in 1898). This includes the Vice President to be given the highest-ranking cabinet portfolio.
The first known vice president claiming to be part of a government was Mariano Trías, whose term started on March 22, 1897. He was elected during the elections of the Tejeros Convention, and was later elected vice president of the Supreme Council that oversaw negotiations for the Biak na Bato pact in 1897. This Supreme Council had no sovereignty, did not govern any state, and was just used for bargaining with the Spanish. This council was replaced later, with no such position existing during the country's declaration of independence in 1898, which had a dictatorial government. Officially, the country's first actual republic was founded in 1899, and it too had no vice president. Trias instead served in the cabinets of Apolinario Mabini and Pedro Paterno, as finance minister and war minister, respectively. Trias is not considered a Philippine Vice President as the Supreme Council did not proclaim any sovereign state.
The 1935 Constitution of the Philippines established the position of Vice President, with no required responsibilities, although the President could, if he so chose, appoint the Vice President to a cabinet position. The first person elected to the position of Vice President under the constitution was Sergio Osmeña. Elected together with Manuel L. Quezon in the first Philippine national elections, Osmena was given the highest-ranking cabinet portfolio with inauguration of the Commonwealth of the Philippines in November 1935. Prior to independence in 1946, that cabinet portfolio was Secretary of Public Instruction, which had once been reserved only for the Vice Governor-General (an American). Vice President Osmena held that position from 1935–1939, and a similar portfolio in the War Cabinet during World War II.
After independence, the highest-ranking cabinet position became that of Secretary of Foreign Affairs (it is still the highest-ranking cabinet portfolio in official protocol to this day), which was given to Vice President Elpidio Quirino. Vice President Fernando Lopez declined the Foreign Affairs portfolio when he became Quirino's Vice President in 1949. However, Vice Presidents Carlos P. Garcia and Emmanuel Pelaez also held the Foreign Affairs portfolio, a tradition revived in the Fifth Republic, with Vice Presidents Salvador Laurel and Teofisto Guingona, Jr. holding the Foreign Affairs portfolio. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo served as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development. Other Cabinet positions with no Secretary title was given to Joseph Estrada as Chairman of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission and Noli de Castro as Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
Among the Vice Presidents of the Third Republic, Diosdado Macapagal alone was not given any cabinet position, since he was the first elected Vice-President that did not originate from the same party as the incumbent. Arturo Tolentino was officially proclaimed Vice President-elect by the Regular Batasang Pambansa in 1986. He took his oath as Vice President on February 16, 1986 before Chief Justice Ramon Aquino but because of popular belief that the elections had been rigged, he never actually served out his term as Vice President. Within a week after Tolentino's oath, the People Power Revolution resulted in the collapse of the Marcos regime. On February 25, 1986 Corazon Aquino and Salvador H. Laurel were sworn in as President and Vice President.
Duties and responsibilities
Article VII Section 3 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution mandates the existence of 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." The Vice President may be removed from the position in the same manner as the President, and can be appointed as a Member of the Cabinet.
The Vice President shall be put into office by direct popular vote held every second Monday of May (or as provided otherwise by law) for a term of six years which starts at noon of June 30 the year the official was elected, and will end at noon of the same date six years after. Section 4 states that the Vice President is not allowed to serve two consecutive terms, and if any case the official renounces his position in the duration of his term, it will not be considered as an interruption in the term for which he was elected.
He/She also assumes the duties and responsibilities of the President (as Acting President) if (1) the position of the latter has not yet been chosen, until such has been chosen and qualified, (2) the latter has died or became permanently disabled, and will serve the unexpired term, and/or (3) the Members of the Cabinet submits to the Senate President and the House Speaker a written declaration that the President is unable to effect his responsibilities and duties.
The vice president is the first in the presidential line of succession as mandated in the 1987 constitution. Succession in case of the incapacitation or death of the President of the Philippines has occurred thrice:
- Sergio Osmeña's assumption to the presidency upon the death of Manuel L. Quezon due to tuberculosis in 1944.
- Elpidio Quirino's succession in 1948 upon the death of Manuel Roxas due to heart attack.
- Carlos P. Garcia's assumption of the presidency in 1957 after the death of Ramon Magsaysay due to a plane crash
A Vice President has become President by virtue of resignation:
- Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ascended to the presidency when the Supreme Court ruled that Joseph Estrada effectively resigned in 2001 following his departure from the Palace, evidenced by a letter he signed.
Historically, the Vice President was not given an official residence. However, the Vice President also held office along with the President at the Executive Building (now Kalayaan Hall) in the complex of Malacañan Palace from 1935 until 1972, when the position was abolished under martial law and the 1973 Constitution. When the position was reinstated, Vice President Salvador H. Laurel held office at the former Legislative Building at Padre Burgos Avenue, Manila, until the building became the National Museum of the Philippines. The Vice President's office was transferred to the Philippine International Convention Center, and again to the PNB Financial Center in Pasay, Metro Manila in 2005. Jejomar Binay has designated the Coconut Palace in Manila as the official residence and principal workplace of the Vice President of the Philippines.
List of living former Vice Presidents
- List of current Vice Presidents
- President of the Philippines
- Prime Minister of the Philippines (defunct)
- Seal of the Vice President of the Philippines
- First Spouse of the Philippines
- VP Binay to transfer office to Coconut Palace in March, Yahoo News, February 12, 2011.
- The Vice Presidency : A Brief History, Office of the Vice President of the Philippines.
- Chan Robles Virtual Law Library: Philippine Supreme Court Decisions On-Line
- Philippines Leader Resigns, Beset by Scandal - New York Times
- Quezon.ph: "For trivia-hunters, Benigno S. Aquino III and the presidency" by Manuel L. Quezon III