MANILA -- Amid the controversy surrounding her win, newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo has found an ally in a fellow candidate.
Alaiza Malinao, who represented Davao City and finished in the Top 16, set the record straight about the accusations thrown at Mateo through Instagram Stories.
In her first post, she congratulated the beauty queen from Iloilo, saying she is "so deserving" of the Miss Universe Philippines crown.
In another post, Malinao shared a video of her with Mateo before the finals and gushed about her "small, beautiful face."
In the text added to the clip, she reiterated that Mateo did her own makeup, responding to allegations that she brought a glam team to the competition.
"Siya lang po nagme-makeup sa sarili niya," wrote Malinao, who was considered an early favorite in the competition.
"She worked hard! She's fair! She did not cheat. She is a deserving winner! Congratulations, Rabiya Mateo, our Miss Universe Philippines 2020. She is our queen!" she added.
Mateo has broken her silence over the accusations, making it clear that all she did was work hard for her victory and make Iloilo proud.
She also admitted that people did not expect her to win the Miss Universe Philippines crown as she was not a frontrunner.