The office of beauty queen-turned-politician Leren Mae Bautista dismissed rumors that she has a "romantic involvement" with basketball star Ricci Rivero, who had hinted at his breakup with actress Andrea Brillantes.
"We want to make it clear that these claims are entirely false and have no basis in reality," the statement posted on June 12 read.
Bautista, who serves as a municipal councilor in Los Baños in Laguna, has "dedicated herself to serving the community of Los Baños with utmost sincerity and integrity," the statement noted, and her commitment to public service "has been shaped by the support and trust of people she represents.
For days, social media was abuzz with breakup rumors as Rivero was seen in the Instagram Story of Bautista.
He also spent his birthday with her in Los Baños last May 25, distributing food packs to constituents. The following day, she posted a photo of them in action, wishing him a happy birthday and thanking him for the visit.
But Bautista's office said the outreach activity "is not an indication of a romantic relationship between them."
A viral video that depicted Rivero's belated celebration with his friends and "numerous other individuals," however, was taken down "due to concerns about potential misinterpretation by viewers."
"We encourage everyone to refrain from creating malicious and insinuating comments on social media," the statement said. "[W]e call on everyone to understand the importance of fact-checking information shared across various internet platforms."
Rivero and Brillantes became official on April 9 last year, when he asked for her hand in court after the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons won against the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
They went viral last March with Brillantes' “promposal” to Rivero during K-pop supergroup BLACKPINK's concert at the Philippine Arena.
But on June 9, Rivero in a tweet addressed the breakup rumors, saying he owns up to the "mistake" of not making his relationship status public though didn't explicitly mention Brillantes or their assumed breakup.
He asked the public to stop creating their "own versions" of the story and "dragging other characters into these false accusations."