PDEA asks MTRCB to ban ‘Amatz’ song for ‘promoting use of marijuana’
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has asked the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to ban the airing of rapper Shanti Dope’s song “Amatz” for lyrics allegedly promoting recreational marijuana use.
PDEA said in a statement on Thursday that Director General Aaron Aquino has already sent MTRCB, the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), and ABS-CBN Corporation a letter last Monday to prevent the promotion of the song, which allegedly runs contrary to the administration’s war on illegal drugs.
“It appears that the singer was referring to the high effect of marijuana, being in its natural/organic state and not altered by any chemical compound,” Aquino said.
“This runs contrary to Duterte’s administration crusade against illegal drugs,” he added.
The PDEA chief seemed to be referring to the song’s chorus, where Shanti Dope was rapping the lyrics “Lakas ng amats ko, sobrang natural, walang halong kemikal.” The agency also noted other parts of the song as having double meanings, such as this:
“Ito hinangad ko; lipadin ay mataas pa sa kayang ipadama sayo ng gramo, di bale ng musika ikamatay.”
Aquino clarified that they respect artists, but drew a line between creative freedom and encouraging the use of illegal substances. They also recommended the banning of other songs with similar subliminal messages referring to drug use.
“We respect and appreciate our artists in the music industry, however, we strongly oppose the promotion of musical pieces or songs that encourage the recreational use of drugs like marijuana and shabu,” Aquino explained.
“It is contrary to our fight against illegal drugs,” he added.
INQUIRER.net has contacted Universal Records, the record label which produced Shanti Dope’s song, but the company has yet to release an official statement as of now. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)