MANILA, Philippines. Netizens slammed first-time voters Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo after photos of them showing their ballots circulated on social media.
A photo of Padilla holding his ballot inside a precinct was shared on the Facebook page of ABS-CBN News. Although Padilla’s ballot was covered with a piece of paper, the photo earned negative reactions from netizens who believed that the teen king violated the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) rule that prohibits voters from taking selfies or photos inside the polling precinct.
Meanwhile, a photo of Bernardo showing her unfilled ballot also circulated on social media.
Netizens also questioned as to why members of the Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs) allowed some people to take intrusive photos of Bernardo while she was voting.
According to Mandaue City Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde, voters, watchers, and members of the BEIs are not allowed to take photos of the ballots and voter’s receipts inside the polling place on election day as it violates the sanctity and secrecy of the ballot.
Gujilde explained: “As a voter, you can bring a phone with a camera inside the polling place but you cannot use it. As a watcher, you can bring a camera and use it, provided it does not violate the sanctity of the ballot, meaning you cannot take a photo of your official ballot or the voter’s receipt.”
Anyone found guilty of this offense could face up to six years in jail.
However, it is unclear if members of the media and journalists are exempt from this rule. In the case of Padilla and Bernardo, ABS-CBN news reporter Gretchen Fullido captured their photos and shared them on social media.
Aside from Bernardo’s controversial poll photo, netizens also lambasted the 20-year-old actress for wearing a RoRo baller inside the precinct.
Gregorio Larrazabal, former Comelec commisioner, tweeted: “That’s a campaign material. prohibited to be used inside when you vote. BASIC.”
Meanwhile, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez posted on Twitter: “Kathryn and Daniel and I need to talk.” #PiliPinas