MANILA -- Miss Universe Philippines board director Albert Andrada expressed his support for Ilongga physical therapist Rabiya Mateo as the winner of the first edition of their first Miss Philippines Universe franchise.
“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 Universe Philippines franchise, amid the limitations of the pandemic," Andrada said in a statement.
Andrada told ABS-CBN News Monday that he and other Miss Universe Philippines officials, notably Shamcey Supsup and Jonas Gaffud, have already threshed out the issue.
His statement follows the swirl of intrigues against the pageant and the alleged violation of rules on the restricted use of hair and make-up personnel due to the pandemic.
Andrada reiterated that the organization had strictly followed their own health protocols and also complied with Baguio City and Baguio Country Club regulations.
Andrada also laughed at speculations on social media that Mateo was provided the questions in the finals before her coronation over the weekend. He said that during the question and answer taping at Baguio Country Club, other finalists were held inside a bus before their turn onstage.
Andrada also released the statement of pageant favorite Alaiza Malinao of Davao who belied the accusation that she used a glam team for her makeup. Malinao also hailed Mateo as a deserving winner.
The fashion designer who famously made the blue gown of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also thanked Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2014 MJ Lastimosa for upholding the first edition of the Miss Universe Philippine franchise as one of the preliminary judges in Baguio.
“To think that she comes from another beauty camp, Kagandahang FLores, regarded as rival of Aces and Queens. This is a beautiful way to unite,” Andrada said.
In her Twitter post Lastimosa hit the meanness in the recent pageant. “I love supporting our Pinay beauty queens," she said. “Aren’t we here to empower each other, to inspire others? To uplift one another? If we refuse to do so then who will? May pandemic pa, guys, kalma na. Let’s choose kindness above all.”