MANILA - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has confirmed issuing a memorandum to local government officials to mobilize their constituents who want to joint events supporting President Duterte this weekend.
Tens of thousands gathered since Saturday in pro-Duterte rallies across the country, including the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, as other groups held separate gatherings marking the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.
Speaking to radio DZMM, DILG Undersecretary John Castriciones said the memo was indeed released to local officials, adding that there was nothing wrong with encouraging the public to show support for the President and his programs.
"There is no mistake there. I think what the department has done is to merely encourage the people, because these are the same programs that we have," he said.
"The local governments are (the) ones having the anti-illegal drugs campaign and even the anti-poverty campaign," Castriciones added.
He also insisted that the government did not foot any expenses in the pro-Duterte rally.
Castriciones heads the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC), an organization that campaigned for Duterte when be ran for president and organized events mentioned in the memo.
There were earlier reports of a memorandum signed by DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno calling on "all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors and barangay officials" to support the pro-Duterte events. -- Report from Michael Delizo, DZMM