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SC orders Comelec to comment on motion vs. camera ban in precincts

The Supreme Court has ordered the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic to comment on petition seeking to allow the use of digital cameras and mobile phones inside polling precincts.

In a resolution dated May 2, 2019, the high court has given respondents 10 days to file a comment on the petition filed by groups led by Automated Election System Watch (AES Watch).

Comelec Resolution No. 10088 issued in 2016 that banned the use of digital cameras and cellular phones in polling precincts prompted the AES Watch and some groups to file the petition.

They also asked the SC to compel the Comelec to comply with a 2016 ruling for the activation of the Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) feature of vote-counting machines.

In the three-year-old ruling, the justices ordered the Comelec to enable the VVPAT feature despite the poll body's arguments that printing voting receipts would be time-consuming and that the receipts could be used in vote-buying.

Petitioners also include Buklod Pamilya, Capitol Christian Leadership, Citizen’s Crime Watch, Connecting Businessmen in the Marketplace to Christ, Latter Rain Harvest Ministries, One Vote Our Hope, Upper Room Brethren Church, and several individuals. —Margaret Claire Layug/LBG, GMA News