"Don't ever allow your voice to be silenced."
This is what Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray told her social media followers after she was threatened by a top Philippine military official due to her advocacy for women.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, October 24, the beauty queen encouraged everyone to continue making their voices heard, as "you never know [whose] life may be impacted by your words."
Please don't ever allow your voice to be silenced. You never know who's life may be impacted by your words. You never know who you'll help feel seen, courageous or comforted. When you speak up for yourself, know that in sharing your stories, you're speaking up for others too. ⚡
"You never know who you'll help feel seen, courageous or comforted. When you speak up for yourself, know that in sharing your stories, you're speaking up for others too," she said.
In a statement on Wednesday, October 21, Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., an official of the government’s National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), publicly warned Catriona and actress Liza Soberano on their ties with women's rights group Gabriela, which he alleged is a communist front.
Parlade told them not to "follow the path" of Ella Colmenares, Angel Locsin's sister whom he claimed as "underground" as a supposed member of rebel group New People's Army (NPA).
Responding to Parlade's statement, Catriona's camp said she "will not waver in continuously championing social causes that uplift women's lives."
"And while there may be people who will try, she remains steadfast in her stance that no one should be silenced in sharing their personal stories that give strength and support to fellow women who have gone through similar experiences," said her lawyer, Atty. Joji Alonso, in a statement Friday, October 23.
"Catriona expresses her gratitude to all those who share the same stand on gender equality and who aim to protect those who are brave enough to speak out on their platforms," he added.