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Presidential security justifies Marcos' chopper use to Coldplay concert

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Presidential security justifies Marcos' chopper use to Coldplay concert
Photo of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. watching Coldplay's concert at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan last January 19, 2024
Photo from Philippine Concerts; Philstar.com / Kristofer Purnell

MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Security Command (PSC) stepped in to address the controversy surrounding President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s use of a helicopter to attend the concert of British rock band Coldplay on Friday. 

PSC Commander MGen. Nelson Morales issued a statement on Saturday, stating that the traffic caused by 40,000 concertgoers to the Philippine Arena could pose a security risk to the president.

"Recognizing that this traffic situation posed a potential threat to the security of our president, the [Presidential Security Group] took decisive action by opting for the presidential chopper," Morales said.

"This decision not only ensured the safety of our leader but also exemplified our commitment to prioritizing security in the face of unexpected challenges."

This happened after transportation data company TomTom Traffic recently released their 2023 Traffic Index, a study which ranked Metro Manila as a worst place to experience metro traffic in the world.

TomTom earlier said that Metro Manila drivers spent an average of 25 minutes and 30 seconds just to travel 10 kilometers in 2023. This is the slowest compared to 387 areas mentioned in the study.

The data translates to 117 hours lost in traffic last year for those in the National Capital Region, a time equivalent to almost five days.

"Your continued understanding and support for these measures are crucial in maintaining the safety and well-being of our nation's leadership," Morales said.

Netizens insulted by 'insensitivity'

Many Filipino internet users and attendees at the Philippine Arena felt offended by the president's choice of transportation, particularly considering that taxpayers' money funded it.

Several netizens expressed disappointment as Coldplay's "Music of the Spheres" world tour prioritized environmental sustainability, incorporating innovations like electricity-generating power bikes and reusable LED wristbands.

"All the effort of coldplay and their team in promoting sustainability while on tour, finding a way to make that work here in the philippines, only for this asshole to fly in a chopper probably funded by… take a wild guess!" said an X user @strawbearrybum on Friday.

'Thanks for enduring traffic for us'

Coldplay's lead vocalist, Chris Martin, candidly addressed the country's traffic situation. Nonetheless, the British rocker turned this into an opportunity to express gratitude for their Filipino fans.

"We've seen some traffic, but I think you have the number one in the world," Martin said on Friday night.

"So thank you for making the effort to come through all of that bullshit to be here," he added.

Marcos Jr. could be seen in a video holding his laughter after hearing Martin's comment on the intense traffic.

 

vuukle comment

BONGBONG MARCOS

BULACAN

COLDPLAY

COMMUTERS

PHILIPPINE ARENA

PRESIDENTIAL SECURITY GROUP

TRAFFIC

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