SGV clears air on Miss Universe Philippines Top 10 controversy
MANILA, Philippines — After more than a week since the staging of the 2023 Miss Universe Philippines pageant, the contest’s official auditing partner, SGV, broke its silence and cleared the air regarding the controversy revolving around the announcement of the Top 10 candidates.
SGV, which stands for the auditing giant SyCip, Gorres Velayo & Company, acknowledged the “technical error” first mentioned during the coronation night on May 13 by one of the hosts insofar as the Top 10 finalists were concerned, and which MUPH national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee also admitted to a week after.
“A technical issue occurred that affected the tabulation of the judges’ scores in the selection of the Top 10 finalists, which was immediately detected. Upon detection, MUPh and SGV immediately implemented the contingency plan to perform manual validation of the results in observance of the agreed protocols,” the auditing firm and the pageant organization said in a joint statement released exclusively to the Inquirer on the evening of May 23.
“In light of the situation, SGV recognizes the efforts of the MUPh board, led by Mr. Jonas Gaffud, to immediately resolve and uphold the fairness of the competition by allowing the 18 delegates to compete in the evening gown competition.,” SGV further stated.
Those who were initially announced as included in the Top 10 were the following: eventual winners Michelle Dee from Makati City (Miss Universe Philippines), Pauline Amelinckx from Bohol (Miss Supranational Philippines), Krishnah Gravidez from Baguio City (Miss Charm Philippines), and Christine Opiaza from Zambales (first runner-up), with 2020 Aliwan Fiesta Digital Queen Jannarie Zarzoso from Agusan del Norte.
They were joined in the Top 10 by 2021 Binibining Pilipinas Grand International Samantha Panlilio from Cavite, 2019 Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific International Klyza Castro from Davao Oriental, Jan Marie Bordon from Bacolod, Airissh Ramos from Eastern Samar, and Rein Hillary Carrascal from Sorsogon.
During the competition, host Xian Lim announced that due to a technical concern, all the 18 semifinalists will return to compete for slots in the Top 5 even after the Top 10 finalists had already been announced.
Supsup-Lee also offered some clarification on her social media accounts later, and said, “as I carefully examined the figures, my attention was drawn to the highly improbable numbers. This gave rise to concerns that the integrity of the results may have been compromised.”
Due to the discovery of the error, the organization, in the succeeding evening gown competition, brought back the rest of the semifinalists— eventual second runner-up Angelique Manto from Pampanga who topped the Jojo Bragais Runway Challenge conducted online, 2021 Reina Hispanoamericana Filipinas Emmanuelle Vera from Cebu, single mother Clare Dacanay from Parañaque City, Afia Adorable Yeboah from Tiaong, Iman Franchesca Cristal from Mandaluyong City, Christine Salcedo from Marinduque, Kimberlyn Acob from Isabela, and Princess Anne Marcos from Bulacan who advanced to the Top 18 by topping the online poll for the Smilee Casting Challenge.
Vera later went on social media to share that she was included in the roster of finalists, the official Top 10 that was no longer announced on stage.
“MUPh and SGV are committed to fairness, transparency, and impartiality of the selection for the country’s representative to Miss Universe. MUPh has established policies and procedures for the tabulation process, including the engagement of SGV as an independent tabulator for the past four years,” the joint statement further read.
Scores from the second round of competition with the 18 semifinalists, which is the evening gown round, were independently tabulated by SGV to determine the final five candidates. The process continued for the selection of the eventual winners.
“With the foregoing, we were able to uphold and preserve the integrity of the process and the results,” SGV and the Miss Universe Philippines organization said in the statement that bore both their insignias on the upper portion, and their names on the bottom part.
The 2023 Miss Universe Philippines pageant is the fourth edition of the standalone competition that chooses the country’s representative to the Miss Universe contest. Since its inaugural staging in 2020, SGV has been its independent auditing partner. EDV
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