Philippine’s President takes presidential helicopter to Coldplay concert

The use of the presidential helicopter for a leisure activity sparked controversy in Philippines.

The Philippine president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., has generated controversy in the country after attending the concert of the British band Coldplay on Friday in Manila by helicopter for “security reasons”, in the midst of a monumental traffic jam in the country’s capital.

Marcos Jr. used the presidential helicopter to arrive on Friday to the musical event at the Philippine Arena in the capital with his wife, Liza Marcos, which sparked controversy on social networks, with Manila’s intense traffic being one of the big problems of the metropolis.

The presidential security group (PSG) nevertheless defended the decision of ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr, son of the deceased Philippine dictator of the same name, and assured in a statement on Saturday that the transit of the around 40,000 attendees to the concert hall “resulted in unforeseen traffic complications.”

“Considering that the traffic posed a potential security threat to our president, the PSG made the decision to use the presidential helicopter,” adds General Nelson Morales, head of Marcos’ security operation, in a statement reported today by The Philippine Star newspaper.

Still oblivious to the controversy, Coldplay star Chris Martin himself joked about the traffic when addressing the audience during the concert, among whom were Marcos Jr. and his wife. “We want to thank everyone for coming despite the traffic, my goodness!” Martin remarked.

In addition to the Filipinos who criticized the president for taking advantage of taxpayer money to get to the concert quickly on the presidential air transport, others charged the inks against his lack of empathy towards the crisis of the ‘jeepney’ minibuses in the face of the government’s plan to extinguish them.

“A president who uses the helicopter to see a concert in the middle of a terrible traffic jam and a massive transportation crisis will not sympathize with the “Jeepney” drivers who are about to lose their livelihood,” denounced the president of the leftist organization Bagong Alyansa Makaban, Renato Reyes, in X.

“Jeepneys” are a type of minibus inspired by military jeeps. , whose drivers have staged successive strikes to protest against a government modernization plan that may threaten the survival of this polluting and unsafe but emblematic vehicle in a country with a poor public transportation system.

“The scene at the Philippine Arena is a grave insult to millions of Filipinos who have to commute daily to their workplace,” added Reyes.

The excessive urban growth and lack of investment in public transportation has made Manila one of the cities with the worst traffic and most dense in the world, whose metropolitan area is home to more than 26 million people.

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