Miss Universe Philippines 2nd runner-up Michele Gumabao appealed to pageant fans to move on as she urged everyone to stop spreading lies and fake news about her and the pageant.
Gumabao also encouraged fans to spread love instead of hate.
“I hope that people give me the respect of moving on the way I can cope with. Maybe this is my fate. Not to wear crowns with jewels but to wear a crown with thorns,” she said.
“We should stop spreading lies and fake news. You do not know how much effort we put in on what you see on TV, on every shoot. So everything we feel is valid,” the former athlete-turned-beauty queen added.
Gumabao asked everyone to support the newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo.
“Let us support the person and the organization as one nation. As one country,” she said.
Gumabao has earlier said that she is finished with beauty pageants as she focused on other endeavors.
On Instagram, Gumabao admitted that she felt powerless after the pageant.
“I heard things I never should have heard, witnessed things I never should have witnessed as a candidate. I’ve been so used to empowering others and speaking up for others but at a time when I want to fight and speak up for myself I am not allowed.
“This is the first time in my life I feel so powerless. People have been asking me why I left, before leaving I expressed my feelings and told my reasons to the organization and they understood. I congratulated our winner and after that I thought I could go home to my family, have some time to rest and be by myself and everything would be okay.
“When everyone online started making stories, thinking they know me, thinking they know what really happened. I am speaking up now and defending myself because I know no one will,” she added.