Filipino celebrities who are reportedly in Russia during President Rodrigo Duterte's visit are his "rabid" fans and have not been paid to be there, Malacañang said Thursday.
The Palace issued the statement after an overseas Filipino worker in Moscow posted photos and a video on Facebook of actors Cesar Montano and Philip Salvador and comic Moymoy of Moymoy Palaboy in the Russian capital.
“With regard to the showbiz people who are here, as far as I know, when they entertain the Filipino community while waiting for the arrival of the President, they are not paid,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a text message when asked to comment on the photos.
“They have been doing that during the presidential campaign. They just happen to be genuine and rabid fans of President Duterte.”
Panelo added: “As far as I know, these artistas came over Moscow on their own. The government did not spend for their fare and hotel accommodations.”
Duterte will cap his five-day visit to Russia with a meeting with the Filipino community on Saturday.
The Philippine Embassy in Russia said the Philippine Madrigal Singers and the Bayanihan Dance Troupe will perform at the event which will take place at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy (VDNKh) in Moscow.
Actors and performers also graced Duterte’s meeting with the Filipino community in Japan in May. — BM, GMA News