Catriona Gray: 'Research and fact check before making public statements'

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray said that Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade Jr reached out to apologize for dragging her name in a statement where personalities were red-tagged because they associated themselves with rights group Gabriela.

But while she appreciated his "initiative," the beauty queen emphasized the importance of verifying information before making public pronouncements.

"No matter if you are a government official, a public servant, in the entertainment industry or whatever work you may find yourself in, it's very important in this age of misinformation to really be careful of the information you take as truth and also research and fact check before making public statements," she said Wednesday, October 28, on ANC's Headstart.

When asked if she'd listen to Parlade's advice – to disassociate herself with groups such as Gabriela – Gray said it's nice to listen but felt there is a "proper way to give guidance."

"Hopefully, I'll learn from this lesson. I think it's a big learning curve for all of us that really if there is an intention to protect, it should be done in a certain way because I feel that the way it was done did not achieve what he intended to do as he intended to do" she said.

"I hope going forward, if there were warnings to give or advice to give, it would be done in the proper means, which I feel is to contact directly to the group or the individual to let your concerns be known."

Gray is known for working with organizations advocating for the youth and LGBTQ+ persons. She is also ambassador for the Philippine Red Cross, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Department of Trade and Industry's One Town One Product campaign. She is also the global ambassadress for Smile Train, which takes care of children with cleft palate problems.

Gray, who is currently part of the new show Sunday Noontime Live, admitted that when her name was dragged into the issue, there was a lot of concern from her family and friends.

"When the news did come about, I was very surprised but the groups that I worked with, I want people to know that when I am an ambassadress, I just don't stick my name on an organization without really knowing exactly what that group really does, the projects they are involved in."

"So I know the truth, the people around me know the truth and I feel that what I stand for and work for is really for the benefit of the Filipino people," she said.

Parlade earlier "warned" Gray and actress Liza Soberano against supporting women’s group Gabriela and other similar organizations. He is the most vocal military voice against rights groups and Leftist groups, often issuing statements without basis on social media.

Last October 23, Gray's camp through her lawyer Joji Alonso denounced Parlade for dragging the beauty queen into the issue, saying his statement "was completely uncalled for."– Rappler.com