Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) announced tonight that the reigning Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010, Maria Venus Bayonito Raj has been stripped of her title because of a question on her citizenship. Bb. Pilipinas 2010 2nd runner-up Nicolette Mercado Henson, has been chosen by the BPCI to take Venus Raj’s title as Bb. Pilipinas-Universe and represent the Philippines in the 59th Miss Universe Pageant in a yet to be announced host country. The BPCI issued the following official statement regarding Venus Raj’s dethronement:
“Today March 29, 2010, Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. decided, with a heavy heart, to let Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2010 Maria Venus Raj go, after the organization discovered inconsistencies contained in her birth records, in contrast to her personal account of her birth.”
The BPCI through its Corporate Affairs and PR Manager, Jenny Inocencio-Marcial cited the inconsistencies in the statements to the BPCI of Venus and her Filipina mother, and the legal documents that they submitted to the BPCI regarding her citizenship.
“We found inconsistencies in their statements. Both Venus and her mother said she was born in Doha, Qatar, while yung na-submit nilang legal documents say she was born in the Philippines.”
“We don’t want din naman to give her family the pain of being in a situation like this. I’m sure Venus has nothing to do with this and we will find a way to deal with this problem,” Ms. Marcial said.
Aside from this latest development, three other beauty queens in the history of the Bb. Pilipinas Pageant has been dethroned because of questions in their citizenship. They are: Anjanette Abayari (Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1991), Tisha Silang (Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1998), and Janelle Bautista (Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1999). Ipinanganak at lumaki sa U.S. sina Anjanette Abayari at Janelle Bautista, while Tisha Silang hails from Canada.