No taxpayers' money spent when private parties held in Malacanang, Roque says
Malacanang clarified on Friday that no taxpayers' money has been spent whenever President Rodrigo Duterte hosts private occasions in Malacanang.
Several gatherings, such as birthday celebrations of some politicians, had been held in Malago Clubhouse at the Presidential Security Group Compound across Malacanang in Manila. Duterte's official residence is inside the PSG Compound.
In an interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said those private events were not paid by the government.
"The president just did not want to go out," Roque said, adding those who wanted to invite Duterte to the occasion, sometimes they were allowed to hold it in Malago, but at their own expense, "their own caterer."
He explained Duterte did not want to cause more traffic congestion, thus, he avoids going out of the Palace.
"There's no taxpayers' money here," Roque added.
Roque also defended presidential granddaughter Isabelle Duterte who had a pre-debut photo shoot inside Malacanang on Friday, with the presidential seal seen on the pictures.
"I can't see anything wrong with that," Roque said.
He noted that like any other ordinary citizens, Isabelle could pose for a picture with presidential seal around.
Isabelle is Duterte's eldest grand daughter with Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. She is part of show business now. Celerina Monte/DMS