Cebuana beauty queen and model Maria Gigante, 26, and her Spanish boyfriend Javier Filosa Castro, 25, were arrested at around 5:30 p.m. on March 10, 2020 in Moalboal, Cebu, Philippines. The former was crowned Binibining Cebu Charity in 2017.
Authorities caught Gigante and Castro drinking beer at a beach in Barangay Basdiot in Moalboal. While Cebu is under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the province’s governor Gwen Garcia had issued an executive order that prohibits activities, including swimming, in beaches and other bodies of water as well as drinking liquor.
The desk officer of the Moalboal Police Station is police senior master sergeant Jennelyn Awe. She told Cebu News Daily Inquirer that complaints for disobedience to a person in authority in relation to the executive order is a criminal offense and is now being prepared against Gigante and Castro, who were immediately placed in an isolation cell at the police station.
Awe told the publication that Gigante and Castro arrived in Moalboal from Cebu City via a private vehicle. The couple managed to pass through the quarantine checkpoint after telling policemen manning the checkpoint that they were traveling from Dalaguete to Alegria, which are municipalities in Cebu, to deliver relief goods.
At the checkpoint, Gigante and Castro showed the authorities a letter authorizing them to distribute relief goods in behalf of the organization Patrol Partylist, Manila Bulletin quoted police captain Alvino Enguito as saying. Enguito is the Moalboal Police Station chief.
Instead of going to Alegria, Gigante and Castro drove toward Barangay Basdiot, which was reported to the police, according to Enguito. It was the tourist police patrolling the coastal area of the barangay who found the couple swimming and drinking beer at the beach.
Representing Bantayan, Gigante is the first ever Bb. Cebu Charity. She was crowned alongside Bb. Cebu Tourism 2017 Samantha Ashley Lo of Asturias and Bb. Cebu 2017 Apriel Smith of Badian.
In 2018, Gigante crowned Tracy Maureen Perez of Madridejos as Bb. Cebu Charity 2018-2019. Crowned in 2020, the current holder of the title is Betty Davis of Cebu City North.
When Gigante was 22, she represented Cebu City at Bb. Pilipinas 2016 and was unplaced. Among the winners then were Kylie Versoza, Nicole Cordoves and Nichole Manalo, who went on to win as Miss International 2016, Miss Grand International 2016 first runner-up and Miss Globe 2016 third runner-up, respectively.