Despite calls to ban One Direction and its recently announced Manila concert in 2015, Pasay City, the host venue, expressed that it is “premature” to do so.
“At present, calls to ban One Direction from holding their concert in Pasay City are as yet premature since their concert promoter has not yet applied for a permit with the city government,” said spokesman Jonathan Malaya on the city government’s Facebook page on Thursday.
The calls came a week after the group officially revealed that the two-day Manila concert is happening on May 21 and 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The reason behind this, two members of the famous British boy band were exposed smoking marijuana by online news site, the Daily Mail.
The controversy, which exploded after tickets to the concert already sold out in just one day, left loyal Pinoy fans disappointed on their idols Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson, the two subjects of the video clip. Others even reportedly tore their tickets in anger.
The latest to criticize 1D was Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. Fr. Conegundo Garganta, the executive secretary of Episcopal Commission on Youth, called on the government to act on the issue. He also proposed to ban the group and its concert altogether.
“I don’t know if they’ll do that but the government vowed to protect the people. That’s why it should exercise its power,” Garganta said, adding that children should not be led to the “wrong direction.”
Meanwhile, local personalities and celebrities openly expressed disapproval of One Direction; while a nongovernment organization called for the group to undergo drug test before the concert.
TV5 news anchor Lourd de Veyra took to Twitter and posted “YOSI YOSI din pag may time” together with a screenshot of the incident.
Jonathan Morales, spokesman of anti-drugs advocate Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino, said, “If they [One Direction] want the concert to push through, the members should take a drug test as soon as they arrive at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)—before us and the media.”
One Direction, composed of Malik, Tomlison, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne, was formed in 2010 through Britain’s X-Factor. The band produced massive hit singles “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Live While We’re Young,” “Story of My Life,” and “Little Things,” among others.