MANILA, Philippines -- Malacañang assured that there is ample security in preparation for the two-day concert of American singer and songwriter Lady Gaga.
''Basically, nakahanda na ang PNP (Philippine National Police), at sanay na sila mag-handle ng mga concerts (and they already know how to handle concerts),'' Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing yesterday.
''They can be assured - those people who are going to watch the concert,'' he said.
Lacierda noted that foreign artists who hold concerts in the country usually bring their own security.
''The events organizer provides their own security, and in addition, the PNP, they also handle the ground, peace and order situation,'' he said.
Earlier, some groups have been urging President Benigno S. Aquino III to impose a ban on Lady Gaga's two-day concert, the first of which was Monday night at the newly-constructed ''The Arena'' in Pasay City.
They said they wanted a ban on the concert because of alleged immorality issues.
Also yesterday, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said the fans of Lady Gaga are in danger of falling into the clutches of Satan.
''They are in danger of falling into the clutches of Satan unless they are already there,'' Arguelles said in an interview.
The prelate issued the statement hours before the scheduled concert of Gaga at the Mall of Asia, whom he described as part of devil worship.
This is also the reason why, Arguelles believes, that the singer does not deserve the title ''Lady.''
''She deserves not the title lady, a title given to imitable and decent women like the Mother of God,'' he said.
Arguelles then appealed to Gaga's fans and those planning to watch her concert to keep out of the devils reach by avoiding all its enticements.
''I plead with them not to go away from God. The devil will only draw them to ruin. Seek fullness of life which can be found only in God,'' he said.
''Avoid all enticements of the devil. They don't need to get refund. Just keep out of the devil's reach. For their own sake and for the love of God,'' added Arguelles.
But Kabataan Party-list Representative Raymond Palatino expressed confidence that the Filipino youth, who had attended the concert last night, have strong morals that would enable them to enjoy the artist's music, at the same time shun the negative behaviors, attitude, or lifestyle that the concert may impart on them.
''We can survive two nights of Lady Gaga,'' he assured.
He told various Christian and religious groups, and asked their leaders to let the younger generation enjoy the two-night concert of Lady Gaga.
''I am confident that our Filipino youth is matured enough not to follow whatever bad influence that they can see being embodied by Lady Gaga while being able to appreciate her music,'' Palatino said.
''We survived 14 years of Martial Law. We can survive two nights of Lady Gaga since not all members of the young generation are going to see the concert,'' he explained.
Palatino, one of the youngest lawmakers in the Lower Congress, also asked religious leaders to be more ''tolerant'' of the situation and give the younger generation the chance to discern on their own and make their own decision.
On the other hand, a certain Pastor Nanding Paunil had forwarded a text message to the public, saying that ''Satan is now moving through the life of Lady Gaga,'' who will perform in 116 cities all over the world.
Paunil said the singer promotes sexual immorality through her song, particularly ''Born This Way,'' and humiliates Jesus Christ in her song ''Judas.''
Malacañang, however, said it would be up to the parents and guardians to guide their children on the issue of immorality purportedly contained in Lady Gaga's songs.
Lady Gaga was banned from having a concert in Indonesia. In South Korea, those below 18 years old were prohibited from watching her concert.