"Due to uncertainties by the organizers, I have decided to withdraw Herlene Hipon Budol from the competition despite numerous [attempts] to fix some [pageant] debacles," Wilbert says in a Facebook post. "We apologize to the supporters who were rooting for [her] since day one. To the team, sponsors, and designers. Thank you and I am sorry."
In a previous post, Herlene's talent manager details their "traumatic experience" after flying to Uganda, stating that many of the pageant delegates were allegedly unable to enter the country for not having been vaccinated for Yellow Fever. Additionally, Wilbert says that the competition's accommodation sponsors backed out and the beauty queens needed to book their own hotels.
"Kanya-kanyang diskarte muna sa pagkuha ng kanilang matitirahan [...] May apat hanggang anim nag-withdraw dahil mauubusan [ng] budget kung tumagal pa sila sa Uganda," he says. "Wait na lang po natin ang official statement mula sa organisasyon, but rest assured we are all safe, [ang] buong Team Philippines."
Herlene Budol rose to fame when she appeared on the hit game show Wowowin. Her first foray into pageantry was when she joined the Binibining Pilipinas 2022 competition where she was named as first runner-up.
*This story originally appeared on Cosmo.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Female Network editors.