Making rounds in social media on election day is telling pictures of ABS-CBN talents known for promoting Liberal Party candidates seemingly and openly defying Comelec rules.
The talents in question is Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, also a popular pairing in shows from ABS-CBN.
The first strike is taking photos while holding ballots, shaded or not.
The second is campaign materials like ballers, brazenfacedly worn despite rules against them. It is notably unusual that the BEI of that precinct DID NOT ORDER THEM TO TAKE THEM OFF nor enforce that policy.
The third is the presence of a mobile phone making a recording or taking a photo, or heck, its mere presence in the precinct outside contesting of voting results.
6 years of jailtime awaits those that violate those election rules, and it appears a complaint against them has been already filed.
Personalities such as Senator Pia Cayetano has raised hell over the favoritism and apparent selective enforcement and/or violations with impunity.
Attention COMELEC: Why is this being allowed? We thought it is illegal to take a photo of your ballot? It’s prohibited to wear campaign paraphernalia, like baller ID? But why if they’re a celebrity, it’s permitted, and in full view of media and staff?
It now remains to be seen if Comelec will be lenient to them or the full force of the law will rain down on them, But with the chairman a friend of the incumbent president, who also belongs to the Liberal Party, there are doubts.
We are reminded of a fellow LP candidate for mayor of the city of Manila, who made the following quote.
The law applies to all, otherwise none at all.
Now, will they make excuses or show unusual leniency because they are Liberal Party sympathizers? The whole Philippines and the world is watching. And it would seem even Comelec is divided in the issue, with Rowena Guanzon finding no violations, but James Jimenez seeing red lights all over their activities.
The ballot mugshot and phone may be argued in favor of technicalities, but Kathryn wearing her ballers with impunity has no way out.