MANILA -- Catriona Gray will continue to speak up to champion her advocacies, her lawyer said Friday, after the former Miss Universe was warned by a military official about her ties with the women's group Gabriela.
In a statement, Atty. Joji Alonso said Gray "will not waver in continuously championing social causes that uplift women's lives."
"And while there may be people who will try, she remains steadfast in her stance that no one should be silenced in sharing their personal stories that give strength and support to fellow women who have gone through similar experiences," Alonso said.
"Catriona expresses her gratitude to all those who share the same stand on gender equality and who aim to protect those who are brave enough to speak out on their platforms," he added.
Alonso also pointed out that that "dragging Catriona's name when all she has endeavored to do is advocate for women's rights is uncalled for."
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict earlier warned Gray and actress Liza Soberano for supporting Gabriela and urged them to cut their ties with the group.
Actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin was likewise dragged into the issue, along with two of her family members.
In a television interview on Friday, Parlade insisted that he was not red-tagging anyone, but alleged that Gabriela is part of a "terrorist organization."
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has expressed concern about Parlade's warning to the female celebrities, saying his remarks "are tantamount to harassment and red-tagging."
"Coming from a high-ranking military official, such statement is a form of suppression and restriction that serves to dissuade those who speak up for their beliefs and advocacies," CHR commissioner Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana said in a statement released Friday.
"Instead of attacking those who seek to empower the voiceless, we are reminding government officials, especially the security sector tasked to serve and protect the people, to focus on promoting the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the people, instead of perpetuating fear and instigating distrust among the populace against those who speak truth to power in defense of the weak and the voiceless," she added.