Miss Universe Philippines Board Director Albert Andrada has released a statement following the win of Miss Iloilo, Rabiya Mateo, which has been a topic of much controversy on social media. Andrada told ABS-CBN News today, October 26, that they are standing by Rabiya.
The statement came after several controversies erupted surrounding the pageant after its finals held yesterday, October 25. One of which was an allegation of violations of rules put in place due to COVID-19 health protocols. Andrada insisted that MUP was in strict compliance with not just their organization's own health regulations but also that of Baguio City and Baguio Country Club.
See related article: Sandra Lemonon shares cryptic posts after Miss Universe PH 2020 finals
"As of this time, we are standing by Rabiya Mateo as the first winner of Miss Universe Philippines. We are also grateful to our sponsors, stakeholders, and supporters who sustained us throughout the holding of the first edition of Miss U PH franchise amid the limitations of the pandemic," he wrote via text message.
Meanwhile, the new Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya went emotional as she explained her side in an interview with MJ Marfori yesterday.
"To be honest po, maybe because I wasn't a frontrunner, so people didn't expect me to win. And now that I have the crown... I'm sorry I'm being emotional. They are questioning my capability as a person, as a candidate," she said.
Rabiya also addressed allegations that she was given a "preview" of the questions before the Q & A portion.
She explained, "I know that I did everything and anything that I could during that night. And binigay ko talaga. And 'yung mga nagsasabi na the question was given to me, that's why I answered that way...it wasn't given po sa akin. I did everything that I could because I want to make Iloilo City proud."
"Of course, it was painful because there are things na you can settle by talking with each other. At the end of the day, this is a competition, and being the bigger person in the picture, I need to understand where they're coming from," she added.
Watch it here:
Rabiya emerged as the winner of the inaugural Miss Universe Philippines competition, beating out 45 other candidates on Coronation Day.
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