CHR head concerned over Maria Venus Raj’s case

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 06 2010 01:23 PM | Updated as of Apr 06 2010 09:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Dethroned 2010 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Maria Venus Raj has found an ally in Commission on Human Rights chair Leila de Lima.

In her statement sent to ABS-CBN News, De Lima said she is concerned about Raj’s situation. The Filipino-Indian beauty from Camarines Sur was dethroned due to “inconsistencies” in her birth records.

The CHR head said the beauty queen’s case “deserves serious scrutiny.”

“She's a fellow Bicolana who hails from a neighboring town of my hometown, Iriga City. Preliminarily, I ask, was Ms. Raj given her day before being stripped of her title? What was the exact basis for the decision to dethrone her?” she said.

Raj has vowed to question the decision of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) to dethrone her. The beauty queen said she is prepared to bring her case to the court.

According to BPCI, there are some inconsistencies contained in Raj's birth records in contrast to her personal account of her birth.

Raj, however, maintained that the officials of the BPCI knew from the very beginning the incorrect entries in her birth certificate. She said she was transparent during the pre-pageant screening of candidates.

Second runner-up Helen Nicolette Henson has been named Raj’s replacement.

Henson, the 21-year-old Broadcast Journalism major at St. Scholastica's College, took over Raj’s place after the pageant’s 1st runner up failed to meet the age requirement of the Miss Universe Pageant.