|Our Correspondent||Apr 19, 2010|
Maria Venus Raj
A beauty queen from the Philippines who was expected to represent the country in the Miss Universe contest lost her crown after officials established that her father, who hails from India, was not married to her mother, a local paper said. "On March 29, Binibining Pilipinas Charities Inc, (BPCI) decided with a heavy heart to let Maria VR go after the organization discovered inconsistencies [with] her birth records, in contrast to her personal account of her birth," BCPI public relations manager Genny Marcial told the Star. Her birth certificate showed that she hailed from Camarines Sur in Bicol, south Luzon, and her father was registered as a Catholic Filipino. The birth certificate was filed three years after her birth. Her mother's cousin who worked at the government-run Civil Registrar's Office was behind the fabrication, said Marcial. The fabrication was discovered "accidentally" by authorities after she was crowned a beauty queen. Raj and her mother both said she was born in Doha, Qatar.
In 1991, Anjanette Palencia Abayari was crowned as Binibining Pilipinas Universe but was dethroned because she was an American citizen. Alou Gonzales, that year's Bb. Pilipinas Maja, replaced her as Miss Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In 1998, Olivia Tisha Carlos Silang was crowned as Binibining Pilipinas Universe, but was dethroned due to her Canadian citizenship. Jewel May Lobaton, the first runner-up, was selected as the Philippine representative in the Miss Universe pageant held in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In 1999, Janelle Delfin Bautista was crowned Binibining Pilipinas Universe, but was dethroned because of citizenship issues. Miriam Redito Quiambao, the Binibining Pilipinas World was asked to assume the title.