IN PHOTOS: Celebrities at Duterte's thanksgiving dinner
MANILA, Philippines (UDPDATED)– A number of celebrities attended a thanksgiving dinner hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte and his common-in-law wife Honeylet Avanceña on Tuesday, May 7.
Many of the stars who attended either backed Duterte's campaign or have been spotted in political sorties alongside senatorial candidate Bong Go, Duterte's former presidential assistant. (READ: 'Volunteers': Bong Go says celebrities help him for free)
Among those who attended the dinner are Robin Padilla and his wife, TV host Mariel Rodriguez, Richard Gomez, Phillip Salvador, and singer Chad Borja. Senatorial candidate Freddie Aguilar was also present at the dinner.
On Instagram, Mariel said of the dinner: "A memorable evening for me courtesy of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and First Lady Honeylet. PRRD is not the first President that I campaigned for but he is the first President to invite me to the palace. The room was filled with celebrities who supported him both silently and openly. When the President arrived he sat down and immediately said “mag tatlong taon na akong presidente ngayon lang ako makapagpasalamat sa inyo.” (I'm already entering my 3rd year of presidency and it's only now I'll be able to say thank you.)
"Madam Honeylet flew in from Davao just to be at the thanksgiving dinner and she flies back to Davao the next day, during her introduction speech she mentioned that they are not really fond of hosting parties... so I knew it was a special night!"
Mariel said that the dinner consisted of salad, mushroom soup, fillet mignon and strawberry cheesecake, which Duterte requested. A special menu of fish was prepared for Robin and Freddie, who are now practicing Islam.
Richard, who was also present, said on his Instagram account: "Dinner wwith the President at the Malacañang Palace. Together with Robin Padilla and Freddie Aguilar we had a fun time chatting w PRRD and Sen. Bong Go. During our chat last night, I told the President that Ormoc used to be the Drug Capital Of Eastern Visayas, and when I won as mayor upon his instruction and with the help of the police force and the Army we turned around Ormoc City to be Drug- cleared and was able to achieve the status of making it 'The Safest City in the Philippines' in 2017 and 2018."
"Last night I asked him to continue his support to make Ormoc Drug-free. He told me to continuously work it out w the Police force and the Army to eliminate the drug problem and maintain Ormoc a safe city. He also said that a city can only be drug cleared if the Mayor and the Police force do not want drugs in his area. True."