Department of Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro took to her Facebook account to address those who bashed her for broaching President Rodrigo Duterte’s name as one of the potential judges for the upcoming Miss Universe 2017 pageant in the country.
“Kalma lang mga bashers… Hindi ko pinipilit si Presidente mag-judge sa Miss Universe,” she began her post.
“Ang sabi ko, ‘what if he wants?’ This was after I was asked about his participation in the competition. It was a hypothetical question. I even clarified, I have yet to discuss it with him,” she continued.
“I think Miss Universe Organization is very much welcome to have him in the show. Apparently, it’s a rule for Miss Universe Organization not to have a judge from the host country but I think if it’s the President, that’s gonna be another, you know, I think they will make an exception to the rule,” she said.
Miss Universe President Paula Shugart meanwhile, on December 10, was quick to explain their organization’s policy against inviting government officials as pageant judges.
“We tend not to have government officials involved. That's just my policy, we don't do that," she said. "It's the 65th anniversary so we want to focus on that," Paula said in an interview with GMA News Online.
In the end, the undersecretary called for support for the prestigious event that’s happening on January 30 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“Ang exposure ng Pilipinas sa Miss Universe will be world wide. So please, let's focus on just showing the beauty of the Philippines and the unique spirit of the Filipinos,” she