Closeup concert security report: 400 men, 6 sniffer dogs deployed

MANILA, Philippines – Was the security plan for the Closeup Forever Summer concert that left 5 attendees dead followed by organizers? This is what the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) intends to find out. 

"Mukhang 'di nasunod ang security measures nila. Sabi may K-9 pero wala namang nakita," NBI Death Investigation Division (DID) special investigator III Joey Ajero told Rappler on Friday, May 27.

(It seems like their security measures were not followed. They said they had K-9 teams but none were seen.)

A day before, one of the concert's organizers, Activations Advertising, submitted its security plan to the NBI.

According to Eventscape, 442 security personnel were deployed to secure the estimated 15,000 attendees of the Closeup Forever Summer open-air concert at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) concert grounds on May 21. 

The number includes 100 uniformed policemen, 235 bouncers, 86 security guards from MOA and Red Knights, and 6 teams of bomb and drug sniffing dogs.

SECURITY. Were these items on the security list followed? Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler


Were these items on the security list followed? Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

The Philippine National Police (PNP) was tasked to man the venue's perimeter, to assign an intel group inside the concert to "observe any possible security threats", to assist bouncers in handling misbehaving attendees, and to attend to other emergency matters.

The SM MOA security guards were ordered to assist the police. The bouncers, meanwhile, were expected to man the gates, maintain proper queuing, frisk attendees to check for prohibited items, and to control unruly crowd behavior.

Five medical tents and one field medical hospital were also put up inside the concert grounds, with assigned health personnel tasked to rush emergency cases to the following hospitals: San Juan de Dios Hospital, Pasay General Hospital, Adventist Medical Center, and Manila Doctors Hospital.

The NBI and the Southern Police District are conducting parallel investigations to determine the cause of death behind concert-goers Bianca Fontejon, 18; Ariel Leal; 22; Lance Garcia 36; Ken Migawa, 18; and Eric Anthony Miller, 33.

The 5 were found unconscious at different parts of the venue and later died at the hospitals where they were rushed to.

NBI medico legal officer Dr Wilfredo Tierra conducted autopsies on Fontejon and Garcia. The medical practioner of two decades found their blackened hearts and bleeding internal organs "highly unusual." 

The authorities are verifying reports the victims supposedly ingested the  "green amore" pill, a designer drug that is a mixture of ecstacy and methamphetamine hydrocholoride or shabu. 

The NBI is set to release the toxicology test results of Fontejon and Garcia on Friday. These would help determine the cause of death. –

Editor's Note: This story initially said the security report was submitted by staging agency Eventscape, another organizer of the concert. Event security was handled by Activiations Advertising. The correction has been made.

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.