Gloria Diaz now 'persona non grata' in Cebu: report

Posted at 09/01/2010 12:59 PM | Updated as of 09/02/2010 12:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Vice Mayors League of The Philippines-Cebu has issued a resolution declaring 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz persona non grata in the province, an online report said.

In its website, Bombo Radyo Philippines reported that the group issued the resolution after the former beauty queen purportedly belittled Cebuanos’s ability to speak English.

The resolution condemned the statements made by Diaz against the Cebuanos, it reported. The resolution also demanded a public apology from the beauty queen-turned-actress.

After Miss Universe 4th runner-up Venus Raj’s botched response to the pageant’s customary question-and-answer portion, Diaz had proposed to get interpreters for Filipino beauty queens competing in international pageants.

She explained that this would allow them to “say or to answer [questions] in whatever language they want to say it in.” Diaz added that beauty pageant contestants are not required to answer questions in English.

But Cebuanos felt insulted when she purportedly said that the people of Cebu can hardly speak English or Tagalog, prompting Diaz to clarify her statements.

Diaz maintained that she never said Cebuanos cannot speak English. She added that her proposal should not be taken as an insult aimed at Cebuanos.

“Let me clarify it once and for all. People should have the right to say or to answer [questions] in whatever language they want to say it in. If they're Cebuanos, they can say it in Cebuano. I did not say that they did not speak English,” Diaz fired back.

“If you're Ilocano, say it in Ilocano. But if you're Ilocano who speaks good English, say it in English. If you're Cebuano who can speak Spanish, if you're comfortable with Spanish, say it in Spanish. That's what I said and that's what I meant,” she added.

Diaz said she was shocked when she heard that some got angry over what she allegedly said.

"I was like, shocked. Everybody was so angry.. I thought they're gonna stone me to death (laughs). I want to just make people realize it is just , you know, say it with whatever you're comfortable with," she added.