JUNE 19, 2019 — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has lauded the mandate of National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to prohibit the airing of the song “Amatz” by Shanti Dope.
NTC has ordered the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas to ascertain that its 121 members will no longer play the song.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino thanked NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba for his initiative, in compliance with the restrictions of the Broadcast Code stated in Article 15, Section 4.
“Songs with lyrics or messages that are vulgar, indecent, promote substance abuse, gender discrimination, racism, Satanism, violence or sexual perversion or demeans a member of any sector of society shall not be played,” the code reads.
“PDEA cannot turn a blind eye to songs whose lyrics advocate drug use,” Aquino said. “[I]t is part of the agency’s mandate to implement drug control strategies and harm reduction.”
Aquino said certain lyrics in “Amatz” allegedly promote marijuana usage.
“Lakas ng amats ko/Sobrang natural/Walang halong kemikal,” Aquino cited. “Ito hinangad ko/Lipadin ay mataas pa/Sa kayang ipadama sa ‘yo ng gramo/Di bale nang musika ikamatay.”
Shanti Dope, Sean Patrick Ramos in real life, took to Facebook his sentiments on the NTC directive.
“Ayy nasa Pilipinas nga pala tayo haha,” Ramos said, with a tears of joy emoji.
Several artists have since defended the 18-year-old rapper, saying PDEA was violating their freedom of expression.