Has Mariel de Leon jeopardized her chances of winning Miss International?

May 13, 2017 - 12:22 PM
Mariel de Leon poses during the Evening Gown competition of the recent Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant en route to her coronation as Binibining Pilipinas International 2017. (Photo by Jill Tan Radovan/InterAksyon)

Newly crowned Binibining Pilipinas-International Mariel de Leon has found herself in hot water after she took to Twitter to criticize the recent appointment of Mocha Uson as Assistant Secretary for the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

Mariel has earned the ire of supporters of both Mocha and President Rodrigo Duterte who admitted that the controversial appointment was his idea. Many have threatened to withhold their support for her bid to win the second straight Miss International crown for the Philippines following Kylie Verzosa’s big win last year.

The 23-year-old daughter of actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong has since deleted most of her tweets and has also posted an apology in which she wished Mocha well.

“Like all Filipinos, I love my country and hope for a better Philippines. With or without a crown, I will continue to show my love for the nation by discussing issues that affect us. I apologize to the anyone who was offended as it is not my intention to do so. I wish Asec. Mocha Uson success in her job. I will use this title as a platform to promote unity for the country. #AnythingAndEverythingForTheCountry,” Mariel tweeted last Thursday.

Responding to Mariel’s earlier tweets, Mocha took to her Facebook page, Mocha Uson Blog and posted, “Sorry po Bb. Pilipinas. I’ll take note po of your tweets at pagbubutihin ko po para sa bayan at para sayo po.”

But whether or not Mocha’s supporters will make good on their threats to withdraw support for Mariel, pageant experts believe that she has a good chance of winning back-to-back crowns for the country.

“Mariel de Leon’s solid performance at Bb. Pilipinas 2017 was a preview on how she will handle the competition at Miss International 2017. Her impeccable communication skills will serve her well in the speech round of the Miss International pageant and her beauty that fuses Western and Asian features will become a hit among predominantly Japanese judges,” went the latest editorial of Missosology.

The pageant analysis site, however, also took Mariel to task for her rants against Mocha which it described as an “unnecessary ‘battle’ even as she prepares for the big “war” of winning the Miss International crown.

“Her recent critique of her country’s presidential appointee has put her in an awkward situation and has entangled her into the divisive world of politics. Sure, she is absolutely free to express her opinion and tell the world on what she believe is right but that is not what she is supposed to focus on. She should not enter into this kind of fray while wearing a sash and crown that represents the Filipino nation as a whole,” the editorial further stated.

“Mariel de Leon should take a cue from Kylie Verzosa, not Imelda Schweighart,” it added, referring to the outspoken former Miss Earth Philippines who was forced to step down afer a series of gaffes.

“Leave the politics to politicians and give some laser like focus on her ultimate goal. Her goal should be about unifying the Filipino nation not participate in some partisan kerfuffle. And nothing unifies the Filipinos of any political stripe better than having one of their beauty queens winning an important title such as Miss International.”