BEAUTY queen Samantha Ashley Lo on Sunday finally broke her silence amid reports that she was detained and deported by authorities in Paris while on her way to Venezuela to represent the Philippines in the Miss Grand International 2019 pageant.
On Friday last week, a report stated that the 26-year-old Cebuana–who earlier courted headlines after failing to show up during the pre-pageant activities in Venezuela–was held at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France for allegedly carrying a fake passport, citing sources who requested anonymity.
Following the report, the Department of Foreign Affairs issued a statement claiming that Samantha has no record in their passport database, and that they’re still looking into the case.
Addressing the controversy, Samantha took to Instagram to explain that her local organizer, who handled her travel preparations, failed to equip her with the proper transit visa that may have enabled her to complete her earlier trip to Venezuela.
“I chose to break my silence until I arrived in Venezuela because I wanted to make sure I got here safely. Despite what happened last week and the trauma that came with it, I have moved forward and pursued this journey knowing that I did not intentionally commit any of the acts that have been unfairly attributed to me,” she added.
“Moreso, it wasn’t them who got me out of detention and put me safely on that plane to come back home. It was my family and other well-meaning Filipinos who did – and they are still not resting until this is over.”
Samantha said that it has not been easy for her dealing with a week of “a rollercoaster of stress and uncertainty”. However, she’s still determined to bring home the crown and glory to the country.
“I have come here not only as the candidate from the Philippines but as the voice of those who have faced similar situations like mine, the voice of those who have been abandoned of opportunity and pressured to remain silent,” she continued.
Ending her statement, Samantha extended her gratitude to the Miss Grand International for “welcoming me with open arms” despite the ordeal.
“You are an amazing organization that has showed me nothing but compassion and humanity from the very beginning. Thank you for accepting me and giving me the opportunity to represent my country,” she added.
The coronation night of the Miss Grand International 2019 will be held on Oct. 25 at the Poliedro de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela. (Push)