The Presidential Security Group defended President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s utilization of a helicopter as he traveled to a concert at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan on Friday, January 19.
Accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. attended Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres” world tour concert at the Philippine Arena.
Visuals shared on social media and confirmed by the Presidential Communications Office depicted Marcos as one of the thousands in the audience enjoying the Coldplay performance.
Netizens criticized Marcos for opting to use a helicopter to reach the concert venue, while other concert goers had to contend with the traffic on the NLEX.
In a statement, PSG Commander Major General Nelson Morales said the “unexpected influx” of 40,000 people on the first day of Coldplay’s Music of Spheres concert tour in the Philippines resulted in “unforeseen traffic complications.”
“Recognizing that this traffic situation posed a potential threat to the security of our President, the PSG took decisive action by opting for the presidential chopper,” Morales said.
“[It] not only ensured the safety of our leader but also exemplified our commitment to prioritizing security in the face of unexpected challenges. Your continued understanding and support for these measures are crucial in maintaining the safety and well-being of our nation’s leadership,” Morales added.
Meanwhile, the utilization of the presidential helicopter did not receive approval from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
Renato Reyes Jr., Bayan secretary general, said that, “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 January 31. This is the state of transportation in the Philippines today.”
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 January 31. This is the state of transportation in the Philippines today. pic.twitter.com/22XWRLXyoP— Renato Reyes, Jr. (@natoreyes) January 20, 2024
On the preceding Thursday, NLEX Corp. released a traffic advisory cautioning drivers to anticipate significant traffic congestion.
“Please allot more travel time as high volume of traffic is expected during the event. For motorists heading to Bocaue or Santa Maria, take alternate routes via Marilao or Tambubong exits,” NLEX said on Facebook.