The 485-strong security detail at the Close Up Forever Summer Music Festival prepared for various emergencies, but not illegal drug use among concertgoers, the organizers of the event admitted Monday.
Michelle Quintana, Chief Executive Officer of Activations Advertising, Inc. which organized the security plan for the event held at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, told lawmakers that they did not anticipate illegal drug use among their patrons in mapping out security measures.
“We would say we were more concerned about crowd control, unruly behavior and evacuation in case of a natural disaster like earthquake, stampede or a fire,” Quintana said.
At least 12,000 people attended the concert held on May 22 where five people died after supposed intake of substances that are as fatal as explosives based on the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation.
“The bouncers will frisk people who come in and out of the venue, but since these illegal drugs are fairly new, it is possible that they didn’t know what they were looking for,” Quintana added.
She was referring to the illegal drugs called ecstacy, green amore and green apple, among others, which were described as colorful and resemble children’s vitamins.
These were sold to the concertgoers for P1,500 per tablet.
Intelligence Chief Senior Supt. Manuel Lukban of the National Capital Region Police Office said the victims who died took the fatal substances before they entered the concert grounds.
“It’s only incidental that they went to the Close Up Forever Summer Music Festival,” Lukban said.
He urged parents to closely look after their children, especially when they are on social media because he said there is rampant selling of these drugs online.