WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach defends answer on US military presence in PH
MANILA, Philippines – During her homecoming press conference on Sunday, January 24, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach addressed those who criticized her answer during the pageant's first question and answer portion. (READ: Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach arrives in Manila)
Pia first explained why she thought so many people disagreed with her answer, saying that it's a very different experience to sit at home and think of an answer, as opposed to being on stage. (READ: 5 Miss Universe questions: Terror, drugs, foreign policy)
She then said: "From what I understand, military presence is different from military bases. Military presence, to me, sounds like aid. Military help, security. So it doesn't sound negative at all. So that's why I actually stick with my answer."
Pia added that she's open to a conversation on the topic as well, saying, "Although if some people feel very strongly that they're against it, I respect their opinion, and then if they ever want to talk to me about their stand on it, I would gladly listen."
During the Miss Universe 2015 coronation night, Pia was asked, "Earlier this year there was a controversy in the Philippines about the United States reopening a military base in your country. Do you think the US should have a military presence in your country?"
Pia said: "I think that the United States and the Philippines have always had a good relationship with each other. We were colonized by the Americans and we have their culture in our traditions even up to this day, and I think we are very welcoming with the Americans, and I don't see any problem with that at all."
Filipino activists and politicians criticized her answer, and took it to mean that she was in favor of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which would give American troops access to Philippine military bases. (READ: Pro-US bases? Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach should get a briefing, say activists)
Among the critics were Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casiño, who said: “She could have at least acknowledged that there are problems that have to be addressed re: US bases in PH. Pag-uwi ni Pia (When Pia returns) she should be briefed by Gabriela on the issue of US troops in PH to help her get a better perspective.”
Meanwhile, presidential aspirant Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said: "Congratulations, Pia! You are regal. But from what I've heard, we need to talk. See you!” Santiago is one of the senators who believe that the EDCA is unconstitutional and is a treaty that needs Senate ratification, but the Supreme Court recently ruled otherwise.
Pia returned home on January 23. Her itinerary includes courtesy calls to government offices, a parade, and a homecoming special on January 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
More Miss Universe on Rappler:
- WATCH: Miss Colombia, Steve Harvey laugh at Miss Universe memes
- WATCH: Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez discusses 'nightmare' Miss Universe moment
- WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach discusses Miss Universe mix-up with Steve Harvey
- Pia Wurtzbach meets Lea Salonga in New York
- James Franco responds to Pia Wurtzbach: 'I love the Philippines!'
- Pia Wurtzbach coming home to PH on January 23
- Pia Wurtzbach reacts to meeting Samuel L Jackson, Eva Longoria
- Steve Harvey releases first statement on Miss Universe 2015 mix-up
- WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach answers pageant questions in 45 seconds
- Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach on effigy issue, PH homecoming
- WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach gets her Miss Universe walk
- WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach's first interview as Miss Universe 2015
- Stella Araneta on Miss U:' I'm Colombian but I would choose Philippines'
- Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez speaks up on announcement mix-up
- Colombians burn Pia Wurtzbach, Steve Harvey effigies to ring in 2016
- Colombian apologizes over video of burning Pia Wurtzbach effigy
Pia Wurtzbach as Miss Universe 2015
- Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach's New Year message: 'I've never been more proud to be a Filipina'
- See Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach as a doll
- Artist sketches Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach as a Disney princess
- Pia Wurtzbach to Miss Colombia: Fate has a plan for you
- WATCH: Miss Universe Germany upset over PH win
- PH's Pia Wurtzbach wins Miss Universe 2015
- Mix-up seen 'round the universe: Host Steve Harvey announces wrong winner
- WATCH: Miss Philippines, Miss Colombia speak up on Miss Universe 2015 mix-up
- Pro-US bases? Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach should get a briefing, activists say
- What happened? Netizens chime in on #MissUniverse2015 mixup
- WATCH: Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach's triumphant winning moment
- LIVE BLOG: Miss Universe 2015 coronation night
- Palace, politicians: Thank you, Pia, for this Christmas gift
- Miss Universe 2015 predictions: Who will win the crown?
- Miss Universe PH Pia Wurtzbach sends out message before finals
- Miss Universe PH 2015 Pia Wurtzbach asks #AlDub fans: Support me
- IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe 2015 candidates share makeup-free selfies
- LOOK: Miss Universe PH 2015 Pia Wurtzbach's national costume
- IN PHOTOS: A glimpse of the national costumes at Miss Universe 2015
- IN PHOTOS: Miss PH Pia Wurtzbach at Miss Universe preliminaries
- Miss Universe 2015: Miss Myanmar recovers from preliminary competition stumble
- Photo recap: Miss Universe 2015 preliminary competition
- Miss Universe PH Pia Wurtzbach: I'm not going to waste my victory
- Miss Universe 2015 pageant gets a confirmed date
- 5 things to know about Miss Universe PH Pia Wurtzbach
- IN PHOTOS: Miss Universe PH Pia Wurtzbach's official Miss Universe photos
- Miss Universe PH Pia Wurtzbach: Work around your weaknesses
- Emotional Pia Wurtzbach recalls challenging road to Miss Universe
- WATCH: Pia Wurtzbach wins Miss Universe PH crown
- IN PHOTOS: Recap, Miss Universe 2014-2015 coronation