MANILA – Pageant mentor Jonas Gaffud took to social media to cry foul over the disqualification of one of his beauty queens from the Binibining Pilipinas 2016 pageant.
In a Facebook post, Gaffud lamented that Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI) disqualified Kim Ross Delos Santos on Tuesday, which happened to be International Women’s Day, over her previous sexy photos as a model.
“A Filipina model photographed by the same photographer who worked with BPCI in the past, in an expressive work of art alongside a respected male international supermodel… These works of art are not deemed pornographic. It saddens me that while we celebrate love and equality, the very organization that should uplift women denies them the chance to demonstrate empowerment,” he wrote.
In another post, Gaffud said the disqualification of Delos Santos is about “hypocrisy.”
“The issue of disqualification of a worthy candidate is not just about pageants. It’s about hypocrisy. Kim Ross is a model who, like Pia (Wurtzbach, Miss Universe 2015), is the breadwinner of her family. She was convinced to join Bb. Pilipinas to perhaps improve their lives,” he wrote.
The pageant mentor went on to note that the lawyers of BPCI “did not even check what the photo was about.”
“It did not come out in any publication and was supposed to be a high-end fashion shoot by The Doc Marlon who makes artwork, not photography,” he explained. “Now, denying Kim her entry means they just shut her dream of becoming a beauty queen without due process, without any lawyer with her.”
“You did not disqualify a girl who was also half-naked last year that was published on FHM. Why?”
After Gaffud’s revelation, several pageant fans expressed their frustration on Twitter and sought “justice” for Delos Santos, using the hashtag #JusticeforKimRoss.
An early favorite in Bb. Pilipinas 2016, Delos Santos is also a protégé of Gaffud, along with Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach, Miss World 2013 Megan Young, Miss Universe 2014 third runner-up Ariella Arida, Miss 2012 first runner-up Janine Tugonon and Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup.
Meanwhile, pageant blogger Norman Tinio said Geisha Naganuma of John dela Vega’s group has been introduced as a Bb. Pilipinas candidate.
BPCI has yet to release a statement about the issue.