The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has called for the ban on the airing of the song of Filipino rap sensation Shanti Dope entitled “Amatz’’, claiming it promotes the recreational use of illegal drugs.
In a letter dated May 20, 2019, PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino requested the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), and the ABS-CBN Corporation to prevent the airing of “Amatz” and its promotion in media stations throughout the country.
In its statement, PDEA expressed dismay over the message of the song, specifically the chorus, “Lakas ng amats ko, sobrang natural, walang halong kemikal.”
Aquino also took note of the lyrics, “Ito hinangad ko; lipadin ay mataas pa sa kayang ipadama sayo ng gramo, di bale ng musika ikamatay”.
He said the lyrics of the song is obviously promoting the use of marijuana.
“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 pointed out.
Aquino clarified that he has utmost respect and appreciation for artists and geniuses in the music industry, but he strongly rejects the promotion of “musical pieces or songs that encourage the recreational use of drugs like marijuana and shabu’’.
He insisted that it runs “contrary to our fight against illegal drugs”.
The PDEA chief stressed that the airing of the song that features the use of illegal drugs as harmless may mislead the vulnerable youth in their perception that it is alright to use illegal drugs.
“This runs contrary to Duterte’s administration crusade against illegal drugs,” Aquino said.
PDEA has also recommended that songs of similar forms should be banned from being aired. (Chito A. Chavez)