MANILA, Philippines — Paula Mary Shugart, Miss Universe Organization (MUO) President said Monday, December 12, that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte won’t judge the Miss Universe 2017 pageant.
Shugart said in a press conference in Makati with 12 Miss Universe candidates that judging the pageant with government officials is prohibited.
“It’s very hard to be a government official and to be a judge. We established the policy a long time ago. They have to be neutral,” Shugart said.
Organization President also added that it is going to be hard for an official from the host country to judge the pageant.
“I think there’s a lot of pressure if you’re the host country. So that’s the policy… unfortunately, but I’m sure everybody will be there,” Shugart said in Manila Bulletin report.
She also said that they will soon announce the board of judges.
Last Friday, The Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Katherine De Castro had a press briefing about the incoming Miss Universe pageant that Duterte is welcome Duterte’s participation being the judge in the pageant.
“I think Miss Universe Organization is very much welcome to have him in the show. Apparently, it is a rule for the Miss Universe Organization not to have a judge from the host country but I think if it’s the President, I think they will make an exception to the rule,” De Castro was quoted as saying in an Inquirer.net report.
The Miss Universe will be crowned on January 30, 2017 at Mall of Asia Arena Pasay City.
President Duterte is still expected by the Tourism officials to watch the pageant even he’s not going to judge the pageant.