Following Miss Grand International candidate Samantha Lo’s statement about the “trauma” of being deported over passport issues, Binibining Pilipinas issued a statement denying that they didn’t help her at all. “Upon hearing of her situation in Paris, we immediately called upon [the Department of Foreign Affairs] to assist her, and they did. We are grateful for the intervention of Undersecretary [Brigido] Dulay; otherwise, [the passport issue] would have resulted in very serious consequences for Samantha. We wanted to support Samantha and help her resolve this. However, in the last few days, we were no longer able to contact her or her family.”
Samantha was detained in Paris, France on her way to the beauty pageant in Venezuela for carrying an allegedly fake passport. She was sent back to the Philippines, but she finally made it to Venezuela last week. The beauty queen said, “My local organizer, who handled my travel preparations, failed to equip me with the proper transit visa that may have enabled me to complete my earlier trip to this host country.”
In their statement, Binibining Pilipinas said they had a meeting with Samantha, her parents, and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs last week. “It was admitted by Ms. Lo’s parents that she secured her passport through a ‘fixer.’” The organization said Samantha didn’t need a transit visa since she holds a US passport. “Past Binibini queens have done this and have encountered no problems in their travels.”
Binibining Pilipinas had “chosen not to make any statements in deference to an ongoing investigation into the matter and to protect Samantha’s privacy.” However, they broke their silence due to her social media post “to ensure that only facts are presented.”
You can read their full statement below:
The Miss Grand International coronation night will be held on October 25, according to ABS-CBN News.
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