#‎CloseUpForeverSummer – Damage control mode and media blackout

close up forever summer 2016 rave party
CloseUp Philippines' weekend rave party was marred by the death of five attendees died due to apparent drug overdose

In an apparent attempt to engage in damage control, Close Up Philippines issued a statement expressing sympathy for the families of the five individuals who died during or immediately after the #CloseUpForeverSummer rave party that took place Saturday night and lasted until Sunday dawn.

The company also said it is committed to providing financial support for them and that they will cooperate in the ongoing police investigations. The cause of death is still being investigated, although it has been widely reported that it can be due to “green amore,” an illegal drug that is made from a combination of shabu (methamphetamine) and ecstasy.

close up forever summer 2016 rave party
CloseUp Philippines’ weekend rave party was marred by the death of five attendees died due to apparent drug overdose

The company nevertheless insists that they “put in place very stringent measures and precautions for the safety and security of all event attendees.” This claim is hard to believe. If what they’re saying is true, then they should have been able to apprehend those individuals that brought with them the illegal substances the moment they tried to enter the concert grounds.

And also, why is it that no one among the organizers were tipped off on the suspicious activities happening while the concert is going on? It’s impossible that no one noticed the distribution of drugs at all.

The death of five persons during what is supposed to be a music event is alarming in itself. However, the bigger picture should not be lost on us, and that is the sickening reality that powerful Chinese, Mexican, and West African drug syndicates are now freely doing business on our shores.

So far, the media has been reporting about the incident although the specifics were often not mentioned (e.g. that the event was organized by CloseUp toothpaste). This shouldn’t really be surprising because Close Up toothpaste is owned by Unilever, a multinational company that spends a lot on advertising.

If print and broadcast media outlets produce hard-hitting reports about the negligence of Unilever in handling the event, then they can potentially lose millions in advertising revenues each day. Will the media not let this issue die from the public’s consciousness, especially given that it centers on the lingering problem of drug abuse in the country? We’ll have to wait and see.

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About Mark Madrona 1191 Articles
Mark Madrona is a prize-winning blogger, online journalist, and educator from the Philippines. Previously a book editor, he is now teaching communication subjects for two public universities in Manila. His blog The Filipino Scribe won 3rd place in a blog competition organized by the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific (ANSA-EAP). In 2015, it was one of the finalists in the 2015 Lasallian Scholarum Awards for Best Online Feature Article in Youth and Education. He also won the Best Blog Award during the 2011 Population and Development Media Awards, the youngest recipient of that recognition. Know more about him here: http://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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