Miss Universe Organization (MUO) president Paula Shugart on Monday quashed possibilities that President Rodrigo Duterte would sit as a judge in the international beauty tilt in Manila next month.
In a press conference in Makati with 12 Miss Universe candidates already in the country, Shugart reiterated the organization’s policy of not having any government official in the board of judges.
“It’s very hard to be a government official and to be (a judge). We established the policy a long time ago. They have to be neutral,” Shugart said.
The Department of Tourism earlier expressed optimism that the MUO would flex its rules and welcome Duterte’s participation in judging the pageant.
“I think Miss Universe Organization is very much welcome to have him in the show. Apparently, it is a rule for the Miss Universe Organization not to have a judge from the host country but I think if it’s the President, I think they will make an exception to the rule,” DOT undersecretary Katherine De Castro said last week.
But Tourism officials said they were hoping that the President would sit in and watch the pageant live even if he would not be a judge.
The Miss Universe coronation night will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Jan. 30, 2017. YG/CBB/rga
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