She may be months away from representing the country in the Miss International tilt but Binibining Pilipnas-International Mariel de Leon is already making use of her newfound fame as a platform for expressing her opinions. In fact, she has even found the need to defend her views following her string of posts against the appointment of singer Mocha Uson as assistant secretary to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) on Monday.
As expected, pro- and anti-Duterte netizens had another battle on social media over the latest development in Uson’s ever controversial public life. But what was unusual was that none of the celebrities who are always vocal in criticizing the President posted anything about what happened.
Except for the beauty queen.
The daughter of actors Christopher de Leon and Sandy Andolong first retweeted user @janbelmonte’s post which said, “Our government is legitimizing its fake news campaign. Wala na talagang hiya, harap-harapan ang lokohan.”
She then retweeted a photo of Uson’s appointment letter which she captioned, “What is happening Philippines.”
The latter post is no longer available on de Leon’s Twitter account but the heated exchanges that ensued are still viewable via @mariaangelicadl.
When user @ndrlx32 asked the 23-year-old, “What’s your view about this? Queen M?” the new beauty queen replied, “I love my country so it breaks my heart to know someone like her got a position in the gov’t.”
Yet another user pressed on de Leon to describe who she is tweeting about, she did not hold back and replied,”Biased and disrespectful. She insults those who are against her. I’m not for her, I’m not for the other side (whatever that may be). I am for the truth and I am for my country.”
With the ball rolling, yet another obvious Duterte supporter challenged the beauty queen to cite what she believes disqualifies Uson from her new post.
De Leon immediately answered, “There are so many other unbiased, educated, and respected (and respectful) people who deserve her place.”
She then meaningfully followed, “I love my country. It breaks my heart to know that the Philippines has come to this. I’m proud to wear the sash that says ‘Philippines’ but I hope that change will come. And I hope that I can use my voice and my platform to be part of that change.”
She also blatantly said how fake and biased news will bring the Philippines “down deeper than the dirt on our feet” and that politics and corruption “is poison for the soul” of the country.
Knowing full well that more bashing will follow, de Leon did not relent and continued, “There are so much issues happening in our country now so I’m glad that I have the platform to voice out my opinions. See, beauty pageants aren’t just for ‘standing there and looking pretty’.”
The Binibinining Pilipinas beauty further claimed she is she’s “not all showbiz” despite her parents’s place in the industry, and that she will not be afraid to voice her opinions on issues that matter.
“I’m not afraid to be criticized for [them].”
An hour after her last tweet, de Leon updated her followers that she has been receiving warnings she should not speak up if she wishes to win the Miss International crown.
“Uh… So para sa inyo, Crown over Country??? That’s why we’re not evolving. Because some people care more about the superficial than what really matters. It’s always Country over Crown,” de Leon tweeted.
Meanwhile, newly appointed Assistant Secretary Uson has not issued an official statement over her new position, other than a photo where she was sworn in, and captioned with her message of thanks to President for his confidence, and her promise to double her public service efforts. The following day, she already joined the President’s delegation on his six-day official visit to Cambodia, Hong Kong and China.