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Organizer of controversial beauty contest posts public apology

27 November 2018

Organizer says 'sorry' to Labatt dela Torre

By The SUN

“All’s well that ends well.”

That’s what Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre said on Monday, Nov 26, following a public apology by the organizer of a racy beauty contest held a week earlier, when about 10 Filipinas wearing skimpy and flimsy outfits competed for the title of “Miss Hot Babes 2018”.

The organizer, who goes by the name “Maldita Mabait Si Ako” on Facebook said in part: “And I also want to say sorry if u think I did something wrong in my event, to all the Filipino community I also want to say sorry. Tao lang ako nagkakamali din. Because of this incident I learned my lesson already, and that is, to be more careful of what I’m doing and think of the consequences that will happen.”

She also promised not to repeat what she had done: “At ako po nangangako na di na uulit sa ganitong gawain. Again, from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry.”

The controversy erupted after pictures apparently taken by the official photographer of the event held in a bar in Wanchai on Nov. 18 were leaked among members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong over the weekend.

The pictures showed the contestants wearing only thongs and bikinis, with silicone plasters covering their breasts underneath flimsy red gowns. Some were caught in suggestive poses while straddling poles or doing seemingly indecent acts.

Acting on several complaints over the racy pictures, Labatt dela Torre contacted the organizer, an overseas Filipino worker who identified herself by her real name in posters promoting the event.

He said the Ilongga organizer readily offered to see him on Sunday, Nov 25, to personally extend her apology.

But the meeting almost got derailed when a Western guy who introduced himself as a lawyer stormed into Labatt dela Torre’s room along with the organizer and one of the contestants, and demanded to be included in the talks.

Two other Filipinas who introduced themselves also as contestants showed up for the meeting but left in a huff after seeing the commotion.

Staff at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office had to call the building security and the police to get the man out of Labatt’s room.But the organizer chose to stay behind.

At first, she told Labatt dela Torre that there was nothing wrong with what the girls wore or did, and that things just got a bit out of hand. She also said the event was “private” and was held as an advance birthday celebration for her.

However, she admitted that paying patrons of the bar, mostly men, were allowed to get in and watch the contestants doing stunts during the show.

But when shown pictures of the scantily clad women on Labatt’s computer, she cried and said she was sorry if she unintentionally exposed the contestants to ridicule and shame.

She offered to make a public apology, which she did, a day after the meeting.

In an apparent reaction to the sharing of the racy pictures, the Consulate posted an advisory on its Facebook page on Nov. 25, warning all Filipinos that posting indecent or obscene photos or videos on social media is a crime under Hong Kong law. Violators could face the maximum penalty of $1,000 fine and/or imprisonment of up to three years.

However, cap 200 of the Crimes Ordinance also punishes indecent exposure, or the indecent display  of any part of a person's body "in any public place or in view of the public". The maximum penalty for this offence is a maximum fine of $1,000 or a maximum period of imprisonment of six months.

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