Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo demands a public apology from Panay News.
Rabiya's camp called out the Iloilo-based news outlet for its alleged "malicious" and "libelous" use of the beauty queen's interview from The Boobay and Tekla Show last September 19.
Panay News highlighted one of Rabiya's interview answers in a quote card, particularly on her take on dating older men.
Published as is, the quote read: "Three years 'yung [age gap naming ng] ex ko pero nakipag-date din ako sa seven years ‘yung gap namin.
"Wala akong dad so siguro yung hinahanap ko sa relationship is somebody na mag-aalaga sa'kin. Tatay pala talaga 'yung hinahanap."
Rabiya's camp questioned the intention behind highlighting this particular quote.
In a statement released to ABS-CBN News, the beauty queen's legal counsel Ralph Calinisan said: "It need not be said that the mood during the whole program was light, comical, and funny. Thus, the quote that was used in the infographic of Panay News was clearly taken out of context. It is malicious. It is libelous."
Calinisan also pointed out that the last portion of the quote was "obviously made in jest."
The statement continued: "Contrary to what Panay News is trying to imply, hindi po sugar daddy ang hanap ng aming kliyente, kundi pag-aaruga lamang mula sa isang responsable at tapat na lalaki."
Rabiya's counsel gave Panay News until September 30 to issue a public apology. It must be issued through all of its media platforms, including print.
Failure to do so would constrain Rabiya's counsel to file charges against the news outlet.
In response, Panay News issued an intial statement to ABS-CBN News, saying their editorial team will "deliberate" on it "as soon as they receive the official notification of Mateo and her counsel."