Philippines imposes 'weed bond' on One Direction
MANILA, Philippines (AP) The Philippines is imposing a "weed bond" on One Direction.
The Bureau of Immigration has asked Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson to post bonds worth nearly $5,000 each, which will be forfeited if they are caught using or impliedly promoting illegal drugs during a concert in Manila this weekend.
It follows a request by the local Anti-Drugs Advocate group to the bureau to strictly scrutinize the band's concert permit following a video that circulated on the Internet of Malik and Tomlinson purportedly smoking marijuana.
Malik and Tomlinson are required to post 200,000 pesos ($4,470) bond and 20,000 pesos ($447) processing fee each through their producer, bureau spokeswoman Elaine Tan said Thursday.
The five-member band will perform at the seaside Mall of Asia Concert Grounds as part of their "On The Road Again" tour.
"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 Thursday afternoon to post the bond and fee, said Christine Ching, a spokeswoman 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.
A fan, Ella Samson, was unfazed.
"To be honest, there are a lot of videos that are coming out showing people doing drugs. ... If this group is coming here to perform, will they take drugs while they are performing? Of course not," the college freshman said.
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 apologize for that."
He said: "We are only in our 20's and we all do stupid things at this age."
After Manila, One Direction is scheduled to perform in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 25.