Philippines’ Marcos draws ire for helicopter use for Coldplay concert

MANILA (Reuters) – Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr drew flak on social media for his use of a presidential helicopter to attend a concert by British rock band Coldplay in a province north of the capital, Manila.

The Philippine Arena, the world’s largest indoor arena, saw an influx of 40,000 concert-goers resulting in “unforeseen traffic complications along the route,” the Presidential Security Group said in a statement.

The traffic situation posed a security threat to Marcos who attended the Friday night concert with his wife, prompting the use of the presidential chopper, it added.

But social media users criticised the use of taxpayer money by Marcos, the son and namesake of the late strongman president whose rule ended nearly four decades ago in a historic “people power” revolution.

“Using official resources, like the presidential chopper, for personal and non-official activities is generally considered an abuse of power or misuse of government resources,” Facebook user James Patrick Aristorenas said in a post on Saturday.

“We paid for the use of the chopper, fuel and security, who knows even for the tickets for everyone,” Facebook user Arvine Concepcion said.

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)