Beauty queen Samantha Lo allegedly secured a Philippine passport through illegal means, according to Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc. (BPCI), the organization responsible for sending the Philippines’ representatives to major beauty pageants.
The accusation comes after Lo alleged yesterday in an Instagram post that BPCI failed to help her secure a transit visa that was necessary for her to travel to Caracas, Venezuela, where she was to represent the Philippines in the Miss Grand International pageant.
In June, Lo won the Miss Philippines pageant, which was organized by BPCI. As the local organizer, BPCI is responsible for helping Lo prepare for overseas competitions.
But in a statement released on their official Facebook page, BPCI divulged that Lo was detained in Paris and sent back to Manila because there was something anomalous with her Philippine passport, with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirming that it was “tampered [with] and altered.”
“During a meeting last week with Samantha, her parents, and officials from the DFA and BPCI, it was admitted by Ms. Lo’s parents, that she secured her [Philippine] passport through a ‘fixer,'” the BPCI said.
Fixers, common in the Philippines and elsewhere across Southeast Asia, help clients secure government documents for a fee — often through legally questionable means.
BPCI noted that Lo has a US passport that she could have used to transit to Venezuela, maintained that they had actually helped extricate Lo from the problems she encountered in Paris when she presented her anomalous passport.
“Upon hearing of her situation in Paris, we immediately called upon DFA to assist her, and they did… We wanted to support Samantha and help her resolve this. However, in the last few days, we were no longer able to contact her and her family,” BPCI said.
“We had chosen not to make any statements in deference to an ongoing investigation into the matter… However, due to her social media post, BPCI is forced to make a statement to ensure that only facts are presented, and nothing else.”
Lo has yet to respond to BPCI’s allegations.
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