ABS-CBN teen stars Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo proudly posed a selfie photo holding their respective election ballots this Monday, May 9, election day. Shortly, many netizens reacted stating that it is strictly prohibited under election laws. The viral photo immediately reached the knowledge of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“Kathryn and Daniel and I need to talk.” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez tweeted, suggesting that the election poll body will ask ‘Kathniel’ an explanation for their selfies with the ballot. The photos in question were first posted at the official ABS-CBN Facebook page. Both stars have earlier endorsed the Roxas-Robredo tandem.
As you can see, Daniel Padilla showed his ballot in front of the camera, but used a white paper to cover his vote. On the other hand, Kathryn Bernardo showed an unmarked ballot, suggesting that she has not voted yet when the photo was taken. However, it appears that she is wearing a RoRo baller band on her right hand.
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As expected, Kathniel fans defended the ‘Pangako Sa ‘Yo’ stars, saying that their idols did not publicly reveal the names of the candidates they voted for, and they just did to show their fans as first-timer voters. Apparently, there are confusions among some netizens as to whether the Padilla and Bernardo have really violated election laws.
But in an earlier interview, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said that taking pictures inside the polling precint is not allowed, and use of cellphone for any purpose as well. The said rule applies to all voters during election day, including politicians running for any position, as it can be used in vote-buying or other election cheating activities.
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“They cannot use it. And when we say ‘use,’ we don’t just mean taking pictures. You also cannot send text messages and call,” Bautista said, adding that simply bringing cameras and cellphones inside the polling precincts are allowed. He then stressed out the BEIs (Board of Election Inspectors) are allowed, especially in emergency cases.
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Update: May 9, 2016, 5:05 pm
Below is the photo of Kathryn Bernardo wearing a yellow Roxas-Robredo baller band on her right hand while casting her vote, while a man is taking photos of the names of the candidates she is about to mark. On the other hand, Vice Ganda could not help tweet his opinion. And although he did not mention any name, it is assumed that he is referring to the Kathniel love team.
Kathryn Bernardo voting, while wearing a yellow Roxas-Robredo baller band
As we all know, many OFWs were already investigated for doing selfies with their election ballots during the overseas absentee voting (OAV). If proven guilty, election laws says that Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo may be jailed up to 6 years. As of posting, the Kathniel love team as well as ABS-CBN have not yet commented on this issue.