In a statement released through Richard Montoya, PEPPS director for legal, says: "The PEPPS Board has been very considerate of this sensitive issue and we have told the candidates that the rule that we have adopted since the 2015 edition is that the Candidate must be SINGLE as shown in his Passport and was NEVER Married."
PEPPS, headed by its president Carlo Morris Galang, was reacting to the revelation of reigning Mister Universe Tourism who says that he has a three-year-old son. The group says that it is aware that Perez has a child when he joined the local male search in 2017.
The full statement of PEPPS:
"The PEPPS Board is very much aware of the fact that Mr. Ion Perez has a son at the time that he joined the 2017 edition of Misters of Filipinas;
"The PEPPS Board has been very considerate of this sensitive issue and we have told the candidates that the rule that we have adopted since the 2015 edition is that the Candidate must be SINGLE as shown in his Passport and was NEVER Married;
"We also made it clear with the candidates during the previous editions that it will never be considered a “MISTAKE” in having a kid. Having their own child when they were still younger or at that point in time that they were still in the process of knowing themselves better is not a MISTAKE but a BLESSING from God;
"We also made it clear with them that there are some international male pageants that allow SINGLE Fathers to compete and likewise there are also international male pageants that are very strict with the rule of being SINGLE and not having fathered any child;
"The selection process for Misters of Filipinas will remain the same as the rule on having a child and still maintaining to be SINGLE has been observed since 2015. The PEPPS Board was also aware of the status of the candidates from their background and profile review and personal admission of candidates;
"We encourage the candidates to inform the PEPPS Board of any sensitive personal information that we need to know so that we will be able to handle it properly and address the same in the proper time and venue. Since 2015, even if it is not publicly announced, there were selected number of candidates who admitted to have a child and have remained Single," the statement says.
Dr. Jumel Bornilla, President of Mister Universe Tourism pageant, has said that they learned about the status of Perez after the international competition almost two months ago. He has maintained that they will not dethrone Perez for his revelation.
Aside from Perez, PEPPS has also produced winners in Neil Perez, who won Mr. International 2014; and Karan Singhdole, Man of the Year 2016.
By TYSON NESSMAN