Rabiya Mateo tells fans to stop online hate vs other Miss U candidates: 'This is not who we are as Filipinos'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 5) — Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo urged Filipino fans to avoid racist and other hate comments against other candidates.

In a virtual media conference on Wednesday, Mateo raised concerns on the post of Miss Universe Canada Nova Stevens, which showed some Filipinos bullying her on social media.

"It makes me really sad. I saw the post of Nova earlier and I really feel sorry [for] her because nobody deserves to be in that position," Mateo said.

In Stevens' Instagram post early Wednesday, she attached a photo of her, along with screenshots of comments from some Filipino Instagram users making fun of her skin color.

Some of the comments described her as "nognog" (dark-skinned), "katakot" (scary), and "burnt chicken."

"I'm really disappointed with some pageant fans from certain countries. Your hate takes away the fun and enjoyment from this once in a lifetime experience," Stevens' caption read.

"Is it really that difficult to spread love instead of hate?" she added.

In a separate post Wednesday afternoon, Stevens apologized to some Filipino fans, noting that her previous post "was not intended to incite more hate."

Mateo said she personally messaged Stevens and Obdam for the unruly behavior of some Filipino fans.

"I talked to several girls. I actually personally sent messages to Amanda, to Nova saying sorry," she said. "Because these hate speeches that we see online, this is not a reflection of who we are as Filipinos."

Mateo intends to launch a video to make an appeal to the public against cyberbullying.

"It costs nothing to be kind," she added.

Mateo is among the 74 candidates competing for the Miss Universe 2020 crown. The pageant will be held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida on May 16 (May 17 in Manila).