Katarina Rodriguez defends Mariel de Leon from bashers

By Michelle Joy L. Padayhag March 13,2018

Katarina Rodriguez

KNOWN for her straightforward comments and honest opinions, Binibining Pilipinas-International 2017 Mariel de Leon was slammed by netizens for her comments on Binibining Pilipinas 2018 candidate Catriona Gray during “Road To The Crown” episode aired on ABS-CBN on Sunday.

Another queen, however, has bravely defended de Leon from the harsh comments.

Miss Intercontinental 2017 first runner-up Katarina Rodriguez stood up for de Leon through an Instagram story.

“I can confidently say that Mariel is one of the nicest and most passionate ladies I have ever met,” Rodriguez said.

She described de Leon as gentle and kind yet daring and honest.

“I reviewed what she commented on towards Catriona and she did not insult Catriona, she did not speak of her in any offensive manner and please take it from someone who personally knows Mariel, she would not want to bring any person down, the beauty queen added on her Instagram story.

She also encouraged netizens who “have nothing to say, say nothing at all.”

Rodriguez considers de Leon as her friend and said she will defend her.

“You don’t need to like Mariel but at least respect her. Yung intentions niya hindi naman masama. To purposely put someone down is an awful thing to do guys. Mariel wanted to help Catriona is all,” she said.

Rodriguez also encouraged netizens “to love our queens and candidates.”

De Leon on Monday evening posted on her

Instagram account a bible verse from Thessalonians 5:11: “Encourage one another and build each other up.”

A photo bearing the Bible verse accompanied de Leon’s comment on the issue.

“As I had mentioned, I admire a confident woman but sadly people focused on the part which was meant to be helpful,” the 24-year-old beauty queen said.

mariel de Leon

For her, it was unfortunate since people misconstrued her statement.

“It was coming from a good place with good intentions. It was meant to help and uplift, not put anyone down,” she said.

In the “Road to the Crown” episode, Gray was speaking to a panel of beauty pageant experts, which included de Leon.

“My strength is that I’m an empathetic. I feel everything very strongly and I find that when I sing through music, it helps me connect to people,” Gray said.

De Leon then commented: “I really love your confidence and the way you speak but sometimes it seems just a tiny bit scripted.”

De Leon is the daughter of celebrity couple Christopher and Sandy de Leon.

She represented the country last year in the Miss International pageant but did not make it to the top 15.

Gray, on the other hand, also released a statement on the issue via her Instagram story.

“Any advice from our queens is valuable to us Binibinis and I took all of those given to me in a very constructive way. I always have something to learn and improve on that is why one of my greatest passions is education,” Gray said.

Although she recognized that a person is entitled to his opinion but she said, “although at times you may not favour it, it doesn’t give a good reason to turn around and try to hurt others through bullying and bashing.”

She encouraged her fans and followers to cultivate an environment not just for beauty pageants but in society in general.

“Debate is healthy, bashing is not,” Gray said.

Gray is not a newbie in the pageantry. She represented the country in the Miss World 2016, where she finished in the top five.

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