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Philippines imposes 'weed bond' on One Direction

2015-03-19 14:13

Manila - The Philippine Bureau of Immigration is requiring two members of the English-Irish band One Direction to post bonds worth nearly $5 000 each, to be forfeited if they are caught using or impliedly promoting illegal drugs while in Manila for their concert this weekend.

Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson are required to post 200 000 pesos ($4,470) bond and 20 000 pesos ($447) processing fee each through their concert producer for their special work permits, the agency's spokesperson Elaine Tan said on Thursday.

The five-member band performs on 21 and 22 March at the seaside Mall of Asia Concert Grounds.

The Anti-Drugs Advocate group has called on the bureau to strictly scrutinize the band members' permits following a video that circulated on the internet of Malik and Tomlinson purportedly smoking marijuana.

"The condition is intended to protect the public interest should the band members commit any violation during their stay in the Philippines," Tan said.  

She said the band will be prevented from performing if the producer fails to post the bond before the concert.

The producer went to the Immigration Bureau on Thursday afternoon to post the bonds, said Christine Ching, a spokesperson of Anti-Drugs Advocate.

The Filipino group is also awaiting a response to their petition asking a local court to direct government agencies to ensure that the band members are drug-free. It also urged the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to send officers to monitor the band.

The group is concerned about the popular band's influence on Filipino youth, Ching added.

"We want to see their pure, raw, untainted talent," without need for them to take drugs, she said.

She said the concert producers, during a meeting with her group, expressed willingness to cooperate and give drug enforcers and Anti-Drugs Advocate access passes to allow them to monitor the band members.

Following the leak of the video last year, One Direction's Liam Payne twitted an apology, saying "I love my boys and maybe things have gone a little sideways. I apologise for that."

He said: "We are only in our 20's and we all do stupid things at this age." publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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