When the Miss Universe 2016 beauty pageant was held in the Mall of Asia in Manila, the Philippines, a great portion of the budget put forward to host the grand event was footed by perhaps one of the most colorful political figures in the country, career public servant Luis “Chavit” Singson. His LCS Group conglomerate not only provided the funding but assisted in getting major hotels in the Metro to billet the Miss Universe entourage and the contestants until pageant night in January 2017. During that time, Singson also allegedly entered talks with the Miss Universe Organization for acquiring the Philippine franchise for the pageant.
As of Monday, January 14 according to Inquirer.net, former Congressman and Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson is issuing clarifications on news over the weekend that he has already completed acquisition of franchise rights to Miss Universe in the Philippines. The reports from Saturday and Sunday state that Singson has been granted the MU franchise over the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. which officially chooses the official delegates to several international beauty pageants on its own annual Bb. Pilipinas competition. BPCI chairwoman Stella Marquez-Araneta has already debunked this news and states that they still retain the rights, and now Singson is concurring.
“Miss Universe offered it to me before the event in Thailand last year but did not accept it yet because it might be an additional work load for my company,” Singson said in an early-morning statement. He then reiterated the fact about how the LCS Group of Companies has been helpful to the Miss Universe Organization since it was last held in Manila, the 65th in pageant history. Regards the BPCI’s position Singson added, “I heard about the issue of Madam Stella Araneta. No problem with me. I can always extend my help to her.”
The earlier press interview with Chavit Singson about his possession of the Miss Universe Philippine franchise came out on The Philippine Star Sunday, January 13. He had noted that it was planned to be announced later this month or in February, whenever reigning Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray could come back to the country. The interview said that with the BPCI losing the franchise, future Miss Universe delegates would then be chosen in a separate “Miss Universe Philippines” pageant. Also intimated was the 2019 MU pageant’s supposed venue in South Korea, with North Korea debuting a contestant there as well.
Singson is currently serving as municipal councilor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur. Catriona Gray is currently fulfilling her Miss Universe obligations in the US. The MU pageant is broadcast on Fox.
Image courtesy of Philippine Star