The Department of Tourism Undersecretary Kat de Castro on Friday (December 9) said that the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) would flex its rules and welcome President Rodrigo Duterte’s participation in judging the pageant.
“I think Miss Universe Organization is very much welcome to have him in the show. Apparently, it’s a rule for Miss Universe Organization not to have a judge from the host country but I think if it’s the President, that’s gonna be another, you know, I think they will make an exception to the rule,” she said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Friday.
De Castro later clarified that Duterte has yet to respond to their request.
In a press conference in Makati with 12 Miss Universe candidates already in the country, MUO President Paula Shugart ruled out the possibility of President Rodrigo Duterte being a judge in the 2016 Miss Universe pageant to be held in the country because she said it is their policy not to have government officials as judges.
“It’s very hard to be a government official and to be (a judge). We established the policy a long time ago. They have to be neutral,” Shugart said.
The coronation night will happen on January 30, 2017 at the 15,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. The program will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will be broadcast live in 190 countries.