Marcos attends Coldplay concert, draws flak

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos attends Coldplay concert, draws flak
Photo from the One News social media page shows President Marcos arriving at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan for the Coldplay concert the other night.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos heard real talk on the traffic situation in the Philippines courtesy of Coldplay vocalist Chris Martin Friday night as he attended the concert of the British rock band at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

Marcos was accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos during the concert, which is part of Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres” world tour, photos and videos uploaded on social media showed. The Presidential Communications Office confirmed Marcos’ attendance at the show.

During the concert, Martin could not help but react to the humongous traffic outside the venue and beyond.

“We’d like to say thank you so much for all of you for coming through the traffic, holy shit!” the Coldplay frontman said.

“I think, you know, we’ve seen some traffic. But I think you have the number one in the world. You’ve come through that bullshit to be here,” he added.

A seemingly embarrassed Marcos was seen smiling and then covering his face with his palms after Martin made the remark, which drew cheers from the audience. Malacañang has not reacted to Martin’s take on the country’s traffic problem.

However, the country’s traffic situation was not the only subject of criticism that night.

Some social media users posted photos of a presidential chopper and claimed that the First Couple had used it to travel to the concert venue. A number of them assailed Marcos for supposedly using tax money to watch the show.

“A president who takes a chopper to watch a concert amid terrible traffic and a mass transport crisis will not sympathize with jeepney drivers and operators who are set to lose their livelihood after Jan. 31. This is the state of transportation in the Philippines today,” militant group Bagong Alyansa Makabayan president Renato Reyes Jr. said in an X post.

“The scene at the Philippine Arena is a grave insult to millions of Filipino commuters,” Reyes said.

Marcos’ move, he said, only “highlights the privileges of the few and the misery of the majority.”

He said the franchise consolidation scheme of public utility vehicles is a failure as 395 jeepney routes in Metro Manila and Central Luzon have no consolidated units.

Citing data from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Reyes said 337 jeepney and 68 UV routes in Metro Manila have less than 60 percent consolidation. — Emmanuel Tupas

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