Contrary to reports, President Rodrigo Duterte won't sit as a panel judge in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant on Jan. 30 at the MOA Arena.
"We established a policy not to have a government official as judge. Government officials have to be neutral," Miss Universe Organization President Paula Shugart told journalists at a media briefing on Monday at the Department of Tourism in Makati City.
On the other hand, Shugart said Steve Harvey is "so excited" to be coming to the Philippines. Shugart said Harvey will have a co-host but did not reveal the details.
"He's really preparing and studying about the Philippines," she said.
"We are still not ready to announce the co-host. He will be the main host but there will be someone helping him," she added.
The American TV host drew flak when he announced the wrong winner in the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.
Some 10 candidates attended the pageant kickoff over the weekend. They will return to their respective countries for the holidays and will be back in the second week of January.
Source: Philippines News Agency