Philippine transgender beauty contestant soothes ruffled feathers over Bangkok street fight

by Asia desk at

Philippine transgender beauty contestant Lars Pacheco has sought to calm nerves over a viral Bangkok street brawl involving transgender people from her country and their local peers, saying the visitors need to respect the hosts.

Two Filipino nationals were charged with assaulting six Thai transgender people outside a restaurant in Soi Sukhumvit 11 on Monday night.

They were part of a group of more than 20, who had arrived in the kingdom on tourist visas, and engaged in an argument with the Thais that later turned into a fight, causing multiple injuries in both camps.

Thai transgender people then issued a rallying cry to their compatriots on social media, with nationalism-tinged posts urging them to assemble outside the hotel where the Filipinos were staying.

Another scuffle broke out as police escorted the suspects from their lodging.

“They were unpleasant when they met, possibly because they are of different races and opinions,” police officer Withawat Chinkam said.

Withawat added that a Thai suspect had been arrested for assaulting a Filipino transgender and was released on bail.

Lars, who finished sixth in last year’s Miss International Queen pageant, denounced the Filipinos for “doing something serious” and hoped the fracas would not affect bilateral ties between the two nations and other visitors from the Philippines heading to Thailand.
“I love the Philippines and our transgender community, but we are not in our country. So the only option that we have is to be respectful,” she said.

“Imagine 20 Filipinos versus five Thais. That’s unfair when it comes to fighting.”

Lars also said she contacted her friend and Thai model Arissara Kankla to get more details about the fight, Thai PBS World reported.

She called on Filipinos to behave well when abroad, saying “Thais are the sweetest people I ever met”.

Withawat said police found no evidence of the Filipinos being involved in sex work as alleged by their Thai counterparts.