As part of the pop band's On the Road Again world tour, One Direction will perform in Manila on March 21 and 22, but on one condition -- that two of their members will pay the cash bond of about $5,000 each, which will be forfeited if they are caught using illegal drugs during their stay in the Philippines.
The bond was imposed by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration after Anti-Drugs Advocate requested that two of the group's members, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson, be carefully screened before giving them work permits. The anti-drug organization asked a local court to require government agencies to make sure that none of the band members will use illegal drugs while in the country.
According to Elaine Tan, spokeswoman of the immigration bureau, the bond was meant to "protect the public interest." Aside from having to pay cash bonds, the pop group will be monitored by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
This close scrutiny of Malik and Tomlinson against illegal drugs was sparked by an incident last year when the two found themselves in hot water after a video, which showed the two of them smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint, went viral. The video, taken in Peru, caught Tomlinson referring to the joint as "Mary J."
In response to the cash bond, the local promoter of One Direction in the Philippines went to the Bureau of Immigration to settle the matter and the group has been cleared to perform in Manila this weekend, although it was not disclosed whether the bond was paid or not. The concert will be held in the country's biggest mall.
Unfortunately, the pop phenomenon will only be a four-member group in the Philippine leg of their world tour as Zayn Malik won't be joining the others. He flew back to the UK after their Hong Kong concert. Band publicist Simon Jones said in Twitter Malik needed to take a break from stress and would not be able to join the Manila and Jakarta legs of their world tour.
Malik took a battering in social media recently after photos of him holding hands with a blonde girl surfaced on the Internet. While comments asking about the girl's identity flooded Twitter, many fans expressed concern for the hearthrob and wished him well on his rest. He is expected to rejoin the group for their performance in South Africa on March 28.