Thursday, November 8, 2018

Sponsor accused of harassing Miss Earth Int’l candidates allegedly owns construction firm involved in corruption, according to lawyer





Miss Earth candidates; Miss Canada, Guam and England / photo from Manila Bulletin


Manila, Philippines - At least three candidates of Miss Earth International decided to speak up about their recent experience in the international pageant hosted by the Philippines on November 3, which was sexual harassment.

It started when Miss Canada Jaime Yvonne Vandenburg, shared her own suffering in an Instagram post.


Disgusting experience

“I left to compete at an international pageant in the Philippines about a month ago. I was excited because I had been to the Philippines before and loved the country and the people; however, the experience with the pageant was not what I had expected,” Vandenberg wrote.

Vandenberg reportedly left Miss Earth because she did not feel safe under the organization, which started on the second day of the pageant where a male sponsor of an event that she named as Amado Cruz got hold of her cellphone number without her consent, called her up and asked for her hotel room number.

The 21-year old contender said that Cruz showed up to almost all of her events telling her that he would “take care of her needs” and asked for sexual favors in return.

“At an event at the Manila Yacht Club he took all of the delegates in my group and has some girls take sultry photos. Again, I was disgusted,” she continued.


Overshadowed

Following Vandenberg’s revelation, Miss England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown and Miss Guam Emma Mae Sheedy also took to their Instagram accounts saying they had the same encounters with the same man.

“My trip was a rollercoaster of emotions, stress and endurance and I did not leave the pageant as I was not going to miss out on the experience. I have many beautiful memories of my time here in the Philippines and many wonderful days,” Gyles-Brown said.*

“I enjoyed 50% of my trip but the other 50% was overshadowed by feeling exploited, vulnerable, unnerved and sexually harassed as I was approached by a sponsor on many occasions who asked for sexual favors in exchange for the crown.” She continued

“I don’t want any young woman going through what we experienced whilst competing in what we thought was an ecological pageant. That’s why we’re speaking up! No woman should be treated as an object!” she added

Meanwhile, Guam’s Sheedy also confirmed the allegations of her co-beauty queens against the same person.

“I joined the pageant to make a difference and be a role model to those around me. I enjoyed a majority of the pageant, but what I did not know, is that a specific sponsor from the Manila Yacht Club would change the way I see pageantry and sponsors,” Sheedy wrote

“To focus on ONLY myself, I was pulled aside multiple times to be invited to Boracay, private islands and into his house and insisted that I and “the Latino women dance for him.”

“The sponsor who’s name is Amado S. Cruz became a problem for many of the delegates, including myself.” Sheedy said on her post*

She added that the said person even grabbed her bare backside at the national costume competition where she was able to push him away.

The sponsor

Meanwhile, prominent court martial lawyer and well-known social media personality, Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles can’t help but give further details about the said sponsor.

On her Facebook page, Cruz-Angeles revealed that Amado S. Cruz is possibly the owner of Offshore Development and Construction Corporation.

“Sya ang may ari ng Offshore Development and Construction Corporation na nasangkot sa corruption case ng Intramuros Administrator na si Dominador Ferrer.” The lawyer said

However, Cruz-Angeles clarified; “Ngayon, wala akong nakitang ibang pangalang lumilitaw na Amado S. Cruz, so for now, i-assume ko na sya ito.”

“Ako ang nag file ng kaso laban kay Ferrer. In-implead namin si Cruz, pero na dismiss yung kay Cruz sa Ombudsman. Di ako sang ayon sa desisyon, gayunpaman may bakas ng ebidensya na magpapakita kung sino ito.” She added

She said that Ferrer was convicted over violation of Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for giving undue benefits and privileges to the construction company allegedly owned by Cruz.

“Isa dito ang pag gawa ng mga nakasisirang structures sa loob at ibabaw ng mga gusali ng Intramuros na syang protected heritage site. Ginawa ni Ferrer ito kahit walang mga permit si Cruz.” Cruz-Angeles said