Party-list group denies issuing certification to Cebuana beauty queen, boyfriend
CEBU, Philippines – A staff member of Patrol party list told Rappler in a phone interview that they were not connected with Cebuana beauty queen Maria Gigante nor her boyfriend Javier Castro. The couple was arrested on Sunday, May 10, for violating quarantine protocols by going to Moalboal town from Cebu City. (READ: Cebuana beauty queen arrested for swimming, drinking amid lockdown)
"We've never met them. It reached us through the media and we were surprised to find out about this. This is also what we told the police chief," the staffer of the Patrol party list who asked not to be named said Tuesday, May 12.
"They presented fake certification from the Patrol Party list," CPPO chief Roderick Mariano told reporters in a press conference streamed online on Tuesday. "It was already denied by the party list, he [Castro] wasn’t part of their group. He faked their signatures and the party list doesn’t recognize that man," Mariano added.
Gigante was arrested and jailed by police on Sunday, May 10, after she was caught swimming on a beach in Moalboal town and drinking beer.
Mariano said Patrol Party-list Representative Jorge Bustos told police they would file falsification charges against the couple for allegedly using the party's documents without certification.
In addition, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia pointed out that only district representatives from the Cebu's 7 congressional districts, and Cebu City were exempted from the border closure.
Garcia first placed Cebu province under lockdown on March 30.
"I’m afraid that there's been confusion with our exempted congressmen, they are exempted. But, Cebu congressmen," she clarified.
Patrol's party-list group is not Cebu based.
Garcia also said she wanted to know how the couple was able to get to Moalboal on the southern part of Cebu, where they would have to get through multiple checkpoints before reaching the popular beach town.
Cebu City, an independent city, and the province are under enhanced community quarantine.
Cebu City is also where the most number of coronavirus cases are in the country with 1,660 as of Tuesday, May 12.
Gigante was a title holder of the 2017 Binibining Cebu pageant. She entered the national Binibining Pilipinas pageant the year before.
They both are still currently under detention in Moalboal. While they have posted P3,000 bail for their violations, they are still waiting for the release order to be issued by the municipal court as of this posting. – Rappler.com