At least 7 celebrities performing in Duterte event in Japan

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(From L-R) Martin Escudero, Robin Padilla, Philip Salvador, Billy James, and Michael Pangilinan

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — Celebrities may be part of President Rodrigo Duterte's 200-member delegation to Japan, after all, for a reason.

At least seven actors and performers are gracing the President's meeting with the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo Thursday night, according to a photo of the program obtained by CNN Philippines.

Actors Philip Salvador and Robin Padilla will sing the Rey Valera classic "Maging Sino Ka Man," along with Senator-elect Bong Go. Other song and dance numbers will be performed by Martin Escudero, Dianne Medina, Rodjun Cruz, Michael Pangilinan, Billy James, and Moymoy of comic duo Moymoy Palaboy.

Duterte's working visit to Japan became controversial after Philippine Ambassador Jose Laurel confirmed over 200 delegates, including Cabinet members, saying it was to reward the officials for a successful midterm election wherein most of the administration candidates won. Malacañang has denied it was a junket, saying the officials' presence was needed.

When asked why a number of celebrities supportive of the administration were spotted in Japan, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday told reporters, "From what I know, they came to Japan on their own accord."

Medina, a TV personality, on Thursday denied that her Japan trip with fiancé Cruz was a gift from the President.

"Not true. Di ka pa nasanay sa mga naninira... Regalo? Saan galing yun? We booked our own ticket going here. We are here for the Filcom event" she replied to a netizen's comment on Instagram.

The Filipino community event is part of the President's official schedule in his four-day visit to Japan.