MANILA, Philippines – A non-profit Filipino group has filed a court petition on Wednesday requiring the British boy group One Direction to undergo drug test before their upcoming performance in Manila next week.
The UK boy group’s alleged m*******a scandal that leaked in summer last year in Peru initiated the Laban ng Pamiliang Pilipino (Fight of the Filipino Family) advocates to submit a petition for a temporary restraining order in Manila court against One Direction.
The organization’s petition states that all One Direction’s five members namely Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, should be required to undergo drug test before allowing them to perform in a concert in the Philippines.
However, the drug advocacy group, led by former drug enforcement agents, clarified that they have nothing against One Direction and their only concern is the issue regarding illegal drugs.
“We love One Direction. We are not against One Direction. I love Harry, I love Zayn, Liam, Niall and Louis. I watch them personally on YouTube while they were auditioning for X Factor all the way through the live shows, I really really love them,” said Cherry Ching, lawyer of the anti-drug advocates.
“Personally I would love to watch them, but the drugs — that’s the issue. So the filing of the case, the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is specifically targeted towards the holding of the concert pending the drug test,” she explained.
She added that they are just concerned with the band’s influence to local young fans.
“This is for the welfare of their fans, mostly youth.”
Despite the small possibility that their petition will push through, the campaigners are looking forward that they could still spread their message against illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Bureau of Immigration imposed a ‘weed bond’ on One Direction members Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson for nearly US$5,000 each, which will be forfeited once they are caught using or impliedly promoting drugs in Manila.
“The condition is intended to protect the public interest should the band members commit any violation during their stay in the Philippines,” the agency’s spokeswoman Elaine Tan said on Thursday.
One Direction is scheduled to perform their two-day concert at the seaside Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on March 21-22 as part of their “On the Road” world tour.