Elizabeth Clenci is Miss Grand International 2017 2nd runner-up. Instagram/@mselizabethclenci

Filipina is 2nd runner-up at Miss Grand International 2017
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo (philstar.com) - October 26, 2017 - 12:52am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines' bet, Elizabeth Clenci, finished as second runner-up in this year's Miss Grand International pageant held in Vietnam.

As one of those in the top 10, Clenci shared her platform on peace.

According to her, peace is "one that is more significant than any other and that holds dearly to my heart. But we know the horrors of war and that many died fighting it and precisely why so few are willing to fight for peace. Today, I stand here knowing that it is my responsibility to fight for peace and to strive for peace in this world through love, compassion, understanding, and education. Tonight, I stand here will these women behind me, spreading a message of peace. I'm here to remind you all as a Philippines peace ambassador that this is your responsibility too. This is our responsibility today, tomorrow, and for the generations to come," she said.

She further strengthened this statement with her answer to the final top five Question and Answer portion, wherein the question for all candidates was: "If you have to issue a law to punish criminals of war and violence, how would you punish these people and why?"

Clenci replied: "They say a nation is judged not by the criminals and the crimes that they commit, but how the nation punishes them. If I were to create a law, it will be in line with jailment (sic) is to implement rehabilitation and mental rehabilitation. Because character is such a complex phenomenon, but we cannot judge someone's character based on the crimes that they commit. If we punish somebody just as equally as the crimes that they have committed, then what does that say about us? I would implement better rehabilitation. Thank you."

Her speech and Q&A answer was highly commended by Filipinos in social media since it coincides with the recently concluded war against rebels in Marawi and touches on current issues like the Philippine government's war on drugs, human rights issues and even the current discussion on mental health.

Besides her wit and beauty, Clenci stunned in her revealing yet sophisticated metallic gold and pink long gown, prompting netizens to use #ClassyClenci in describing her on Twitter.

Though Clenci lost the title to Miss Peru, Filipinos are still proud that she is the only Asian to have landed in the top 5. She was also at the top 10 in Best in Swimsuit and National Costume, wherein she donned a costume inspired by a Mindanao tribal princess, another allusion to the war and the call for peace in Marawi.

Netizens also applauded the pageant's Filipino hosts, singer-actor Xian Lim and 2016 Miss Grand International first runner-up Nicole Cordoves, for their polished presentation of the winners and the whole program.

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