Roxanne Cabañero backs out of Miss World PH due to online bashing
MANILA, Philippines — Roxanne Cabañero, who became controversial when she accused actor Vhong Navarro of rape, backed out of Miss World Philippines apparently due to online bashers.
“I have longed dreamed of entering this pageant and it would be selfish of me to continue doing so at the detriment of the pageant organizers, and worse yet, draw unwanted negative exposure to the Miss World organization,” Cabañero said in a Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP) report.
Cabañero said her bashers have accused her of having a nude picture scandal, of which she denied.
“I have and will always maintain my innocence pertaining to the nude photo scandal and it is both frustrating and disappointing that such false accusations can be made to continue harming my career and any venture I undertake,” she said.
Cabañero also said a fake Facebook account posted on the account of a known Navarro supporter, veteran journalist Tony Calvento, instigated a mass email protest against her.
“Thursday night, after the news of official candidates for Miss World was released, a fake FB account from Tony Calvento’s Facebook page instigated a mass email protest asking fans of Vhong [Navarro] and followers of Tony to write Miss World. I was told by the organizers that they received almost 1,000 emails,” said Cabañero, who was one of the 21 finalists of Miss World Philippines.
Cabañero said she was backing out to save the organizers of Miss World Philippines from scandal.
“At first, I opted to ignore the malevolent comments and hate expressed by Vhong Navarro’s fans, but in the end it became so overwhelming that I could not bear to read anymore of the false accusations as well as the constant interjection of my case and its current status into this story. I volunteered to withdraw to spare the organizers from any burden and scandal,” she added.
Cabañero said she will have to find another way to be a role model for rape victims. She had said she wanted to join Miss World to promote her advocacy against rape.
The former beauty contest contender surfaced at the height of the rape allegations filed against Navarro by Deniece Cornejo.
Cabañero said she first met Navarro on the noontime show “It’s Showtime” in 2010 and that he fetched her one instance before supposedly going out to have coffee. This was the same time the supposed rape happened.
Navarro was embroiled in a celebrity scandal that fixated public attention when the actor was allegedly beaten up by a group of men that included businessman Cedric Lee in Cornejo’s condominium unit in upscale Bonifacio Global City in Taguig on January 22. Cornejo and Lee are now both detained in Camp Bagong Diwa on serious illegal detention charges.
“To give up my dream to compete in Miss World was a hard thing for me to do. I honestly believe that I could still be a role model to women and inspire ‘beauty with a purpose’ even if I didn’t pursue the dream of joining Miss World. I realized that perhaps my divine purpose could be fulfilled in some other way,” Cabañero said.
“I feel good about it and you know what they say, ‘When one door closes another one opens.’ So for now I am choosing to remain confident about my choice,” she added.
Cabañero said she hopes to pursue her swimwear business with her boyfriend, Arnold Aninion, from the Philippine Volcanoes rugby team. She also hopes to study law to pursue her rape case and to promote her anti-rape advocacy in the future.
“I will also join in fighting the rape culture we have in our society because I know how it feels to be a victim. Rape culture and discrimination are issues women face every day. “Since I have come out in the open to speak about my rapist, I have been bashed and blamed but I will no longer be silenced. I will join others and become a voice for change,” she said.
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