MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Another contender has been removed from the list of the official 2011 Binibining Pilipinas candidates. Maria Paula Bianca Paz is the latest victim of the contest’s disqualification spree since the selection of official candidates began in February.
The 22-year-old Paz, former flame of actor Polo Ravales and is now being linked to model Andrew Wolfe, was originally assigned the number “28.” But a check with the pageant’s website (www.bbpilipinas.com) last Thursday revealed that no candidate bears that number and the model’s image has been removed from the webpage.
Paz confirmed her disqualification through her Twitter entry: “Goodbye Binibining Pilipinas, good luck to all the ladies.”
The Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) refused to reveal the reasons for disqualifying Paz, and instead issued a statement saying “we strive to be very thorough in our screening, but when violations or misrepresentations unravel, albeit deliberate or not, we call the candidates’ attention to the matter. The ladies were subsequently removed from the official roster.”
The organization added: “We hope that all speculations regarding this incident will cease. BPCI is not inclined to delve into the issue any further in order to preserve the integrity of the pageant and the reputations of all concerned parties.”
In her Facebook account, Paz clarified the matter. She said she was disqualified because of a photo shoot she did for a calendar two years ago.
“I made sure that the finished result would not be less than tasteful and even of editorial standard before being published. Unfortunately, BPCI did not have the same opinion of the said shoot,” she said.
Paz represented the Philippines in the Asian Supermodel search in China last year where she was proclaimed Miss Photogenic.
Just last month, the pageant removed two other models from the list of candidates, apparently because of nude photographs they did for the defunct “Philippines’ Next Top Model” search.
Grendel Alvarado and Jen Olivar made nude photo sessions for a breast cancer awareness campaign as part of the other search’s “challenges.” No sensitive body parts were revealed in their photographs, with their arms and legs strategically blocking any private parts. And the photos were used for a legitimate health advocacy.
Alvarado expressed her disappointed over her disqualification through her Twitter account. She posted the entries “we are models not porn stars. God help those with a limited capacity to decipher the distinction between those two” and “you call our photos sexy? What about parading the bikini clad candidates around the streets. Is that the definition of conservative?”
She was referring to the pageant’s yearly tradition of parading all its candidates, wearing two-piece bikinis, in the streets of Cubao, Quezon City.
Another candidate, Roxanne Cabañero, was also asked to leave the competition after nude photos, purportedly of her, surfaced on the Internet.
In a television interview, Cabañero said she made the first move of informing BPCI about the photos and denied they were hers. She also told the organization that she has taken action to clear her name and sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to determine who was responsible for these photos and to prove it was not her on the incriminating images.
The Davaoeña said BPCI lawyers asked her to leave the contest because they do not want the organization to be dragged into controversies.
BPCI subsequently replaced Alvarado, Olivar and Cabañero with Gerlie Lero, Bernadette Aguirre and Miss Philippines-Earth runner up Monique Manuel. The BPCI has yet to confirm if they will replace Paz to retain its 40-candidate format.
The pageant is not new to controversies. In 2009, the BPCI disqualified Sandra Inez Seifert, two days before coronation night, because of photographs published in a men’s magazine. Seifert then competed in the rival pageant Miss Philippines-Earth and later represented the country in the Miss Earth pageant where she placed second to Brazil’s Larissa Ramos.
Last year, the organization dethroned Maria Venus Raj for what it called “inconsistencies” between official records and actual details regarding her birth. The organization proclaimed second runner up Helen Nicolette Henson as her replacement to the Miss Universe pageant.
After a media clamor for Raj’s reinstatement and a barrage of petitions to give her back the crown, she was able to retain her title and went on to place fifth in the Miss Universe pageant.
Former would-be Miss Universe representatives Anjanette Abayari, Tisha Silang and Janelle Bautista were also dethroned because of citizenship issues and were replaced with other finalists.
Alou Gonzales and Jewel Mae Lobaton filled in for Abayari and Silang, respectively. Both substitutes failed in their bid for the international crown. But Bautista’s replacement, Miriam Quiambao, was proclaimed first runner up to Botswana’s Mpule Kwelagobe.
Though refusing to divulge specific reasons for its recent spree of disqualifications, the BPCI explained its move and said the pageant “is governed by stringent rules and policies that are acceptable internationally.”
The contest selects the country’s representatives to the Miss Universe and Miss International pageants. The coronation night is set on April 10. -Inquirer.net
Special thanks and credits to GlobalBeauties
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