Nagpaunlak ng isang eksklusibong panayam si Roxanne Cabañero sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa pamamagitan ng text, tawag sa cellphone, at email.
Kahapon, September 13, nagpadala ng mensahe ang PEP sa aspiring beauty queen upang makakuha ng karagdagang pahayag tungkol sa kanyang pag-atras bilang opisyal na kandidata sa Miss World Philippines 2014.
Madaling araw kanina, September 14, nagpadala ng mensahe sa pamamagitan ng text si Roxanne sa PEP at sinabi nitong magpapa-interview siya ng tanghali ngayong araw.
Pero dahil sa hindi magandang signal sa telepono, nag-request ang 24-year-old Cebuana na i-text na lang sa kanya ang mga tanong. Makalipas ang ilang oras, sumagot si Roxanne sa pamamagitan ng email.
OVERWHELMING PRESSURE. Sa kanyang email, sinabi ni Roxanne na simula nang i-anunsiyo ng Miss World Philippines ang listahan ng kanilang official candidates kung saan nakasama siya sa 21 na napiling kandidata, hindi na raw siya tinigilan ng mga bashers.
Noong Pebrero ng taong ito, nagsampa ng reklamong panggagahasa si Roxanne laban kay Vhong Navarro na nangyari diumano noong April 2010. Umani ito ng maraming batikos sa mga fans ni Vhong.
Saad niya, “I would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank everyone for all the love and support since my announcement to run for Miss World Philippines however, due to the overwhelming pressure and negative reaction from my detractors, it is with sincere regret and sadness that I withdraw from the pageant.
“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.
“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.
"I can only ask you for your kindness and sympathy as I deal with this decision and my best wishes go out to all the contestants.”
WHY SHE QUIT THE PAGEANT. Hindi na raw matiis ni Roxanne ang paninira sa kanya ng mga mapanghusga sa kanyang katauhan.
Saad pa niya, “Backing out of the Miss World Philippines pageant was not easy, but since the very first day that my involvement in the pageant was announced, I was confronted by so much hate and negativity.
“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.
"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.”
RIGHT DECISION TO MAKE. Bago pa sumali sa Miss World Philippines si Roxanne, sinabi niyang kinunsulta muna niya ang boyfriend na si Arnold Aninion, miyembro ng Philippine Volcanoes (rugby team) at naging castaway sa Survivor Philippines Celebrity Doubles Showdown, at ang kanyang pamilya.
Sa kanyang pag-atras, sila rin ang kanyang hiningan ng payo. Kuwento pa niya, “I consulted my family, my longtime boyfriend Arnold and my loved ones.
“They supported my intention to withdraw as they did not want to see me degraded any further by the abuse (from rape victim bashers) and negative comments being used to ambush my candidacy in the pageant.
“Both my family and friends wanted me to be surrounded by as much positive energy so a lot of their support was centered around creating a safe and caring environment around me.”
REGRETS. May panghihinayang ba siyang naramdaman ngayong tuluyan na niyang tinalikuran ang kanyang pangarap na maging beauty queen?
Lahad niya, “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.
“In order to live up to the true spirit of what it means to be in a pageant, it was best to give up this dream of mine in order for the pageant to continue undisturbed by my own personal circumstances.
"When I look at my decision as a whole, I truly feel that in my heart it was the right decision to make.
“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.”
A VOICE FOR CHANGE. Sa ngayon daw ay plano ni Roxanne na mag-negosyo, mag-aral ng law, at ipagpatuloy ang kanyang adhikaing maging boses ng pagbabago para sa mga babaeng biktima ng karahasan.
Saad pa niya, “I have a swimwear business which I will launch in 2015. The website is almost complete and I signed a contract with suppliers. [I have] another exciting project with my boyfriend Arnold.
“I also plan to pursue my law degree and my rape case. I am exploring the possibility of advocating women’s rights sometime in the near 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.”