Newly crowned 2007 Bb. Pilipinas-World MargaretWilson is under fire. Some people are questioning her eligibility toparticipate in the prestigious beauty pageant.
Points were raised to the organizer, Binibining PilipinasCharities, saying that Margaret, or Maggie, violates two requirements of thepageant: the participant should be a high school graduate and at least 18 yearsold.
Maggie's manager, Neil de Guia, says that Maggie is set to graduate highschool this month. He adds that she is indeed only 17 years old, but will beturning 18 by the time she represents the country at the Miss World pageant inOctober or November.
Among the judges of this year's Bb. Pilipinas are 1993 MissWorld Second Princess Ruffa Gutierrez-Bektas, 1994 Bb. Pilipinas-UniverseCharlene Gonzalez-Muhlach, and 2005 Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman.
Ruffa defends Maggie against the controversy.
"We [the judges] like her. I mean I've never met thesegirls, you know. Kinuha kami as judges and ibinigay sa amin ‘ yong list of namesand it's the very first time that we met them on stage... I feel that all thewinners are deserving," says Ruffa.
She adds, "You know what, noong pinasok nila si MargaretWilson sa Binibining [Pilipinas], I'm sure, kumbaga hindi naman siya magigingwinner at hindi naman siya puwedeng ma-qualify to join the pageant kung mayproblema sa age and sa high school whatever."
The Philippines' Next Top Model host also says thatMaggie has what it takes to be a beauty queen.
"I believe she has poise... On stage napaka-regal niya.Nag-away pa nga kami nung Japanese ambassador, 'no! Gusto nung ambassador MissInternational siya, so kami naman ni Charlene, No! We want her for MissWorld!' So talagang nagde-deliberation," remarks the TV host-actress-beautyqueen. (Japan is the host of the Miss International beauty pageant.)
Ruffa raises a question: "Why is it only nowthat the poor girl won 'tsaka lang sila tumitira?"