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MANILA: Lady Gaga will be allowed to hold a second concert in Manila tonight after state censors ruled her “provocative” act was within legal bounds, a city official said.
Officials who monitored the first show on Monday found no violations of the permit terms banning nudity, blasphemy, and lewd conduct, said Antonino Calixto, mayor of Pasay City, the district where the event was held.
“Admittedly, some of the statements and choreography were provocative but the content and presentation taken all together can be considered as part of an artist’s expressions” that are protected by the constitution, he added.
“Therefore, the city government of Pasay sees no compelling or legal reason to disallow the second concert from proceeding,” Calixto said in a statement.
Up to 20,000 fans are expected to attend the American pop phenomenon’s final Manila show, the same number as were at Monday’s concert.
Conservative Christians in the Catholic-majority nation have been staging street protests daily to demand a government ban on the events, alleging some of Lady Gaga’s songs are blasphemous.
One senior church leader said her show amounted to “devil worship”. Lady Gaga spoke out against her local critics at Monday’s concert, declaring she was “not a creature of your government” before belting out her controversial song “Judas”. Her world tour, “The Born This Way Ball”, has hit the headlines on its way through Asia, with an upcoming concert in Muslim-majority Indonesia denied a police permit for fear of violence from religious hardliners.
Prominent Filipino lawyer Romulo Macalintal, one of those who sought to block the Manila concert, said he was resigned to the local government’s ruling.
“They are the persons authorised by law and if that is their decision, I cannot do anything, I just leave it to God,” he said. -- AFP