MANILA -- Reigning Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo is demanding a public apology from an Iloilo-based media company for allegedly besmirching her character in an online news quote card.
In her statement released to ABS-CBN News Friday, Mateo's legal counsel Ralph Calinisan bewailed the supposed questionable intent of Panay News in implying that the beauty queen is looking for a sugar daddy in its online quote card, based on her recent guesting and interview in a TV show.
The card quoted Mateo as saying: "Three years 'yung [age gap namin ng] ex ko pero nakipag-date din ako sa seven years 'yung gap namin. Wala akong dad so siguro 'yung hinahanap ko sa relationship is somebody na mag-aalaga sa ‘kin. Tatay pala talaga 'yung hinahanap."
Calinisan clarified that Mateo's statement was made on the GMA-7 comedy show "The Boobay and Tekla Show" last September 19.
"It need not be said that the mood during the whole program was light, comical, and funny. Thus, the quote that was used in the infographic of Panay News was clearly taken out of context. It is malicious. It is libelous," said Calinisan.
"Panay News slanted our client's comments and made it appear that our client's comments, particularly the last quoted portion, is a snapshot of the truth, when they were obviously made in jest. Nagkakatuwaan lang po sila sa interview," he stressed.
"Contrary to what Panay News is trying to imply, hindi po sugar daddy ang hanap ng aming kliyente, kundi pag-aaruga lamang mula sa isang responsable at tapat na lalaki."
Calinisan also bemoaned the "terrible slant to a 'news' infographic."
"Let us be clear: no one has the right to objectify women and disparage their reputation. Women are there to be respected and loved," he said.
Mateo and her counsel have set a September 30 deadline for Panay News to issue a public apology in all its media platforms as well as in a newspaper of general circulation before they are constrained to file charges against the media organization.
In an initial statement to ABS-CBN News, Panay News said the issue will be deliberated on by its editorial team as soon as they receive the official notification of Mateo and her counsel.