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DILG memo: LGUs 'expected' to help mobilize for pro-Duterte rally

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued a memorandum to local government officials that they may mobilize constituents who are "willing to participate" in the events supporting President Rodrigo Duterte this weekend, as other groups are set to hold rallies to mark the 31st anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution.

The memorandum, dated February 21 and signed by DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno, was addressed to "all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors and barangay officials."

It provided details about two events to be held this weekend by the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Council (MRRD-NECC), an organization that campaigned for Duterte when be ran for president.

The MRRD-NECC is headed by Interior Undersecretary John Castriciones.

"Our support for the advocacies of the President is undivided and we expect the local and barangay officials to do the same," the memorandum read.

"Your constituents who are willing to participate in the events may be organized for the purpose," it added.

The MRRD-NECC is set to hold a vigil on Saturday at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, with simultaneous gatherings planned in Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, and even abroad in Hong Kong, London, Dubai, and Canada.

The pro-Duterte rally will be held on the same day that other groups will hold their own protests for the commemoration of the EDSA anniversary. (READ: Schedule: EDSA 31st anniversary rallies)

An assembly is scheduled for Sunday at the same venue "to manifest...our support for the advocacies of the President."

Rappler has contacted Sueno for comment on the memorandum, but has yet to receive a response as of posting.

This year's commemoration of the EDSA Revolution anniversary is more "simple" and "quiet" compared to previous years, with Duterte skipping the 1st EDSA celebration under his administration.

Instead of the usual February 25 ceremony at the People Power Monument, the event will be held a day ahead at Camp Aguinaldo, the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. 

For the first time, there will be no reenactment of the "Salubungan," the union of forces that symbolized the end of the Marcos regime.