PDEA happy with NTC directive to keep 'Amatz' off airwaves
Aquino had called for a ban on the song in May, saying it encouraged drug use
Michael Varcas/File
PDEA happy with NTC directive to keep 'Amatz' off airwaves
Artemio Dumlao (Philstar.com) - June 17, 2019 - 6:48pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency welcomes the National Telecommunications Commission directive banning Shanti Dope rap song "Amatz" from the airwaves.

NTC issued a directive to the Kapisanan Ng Mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas telling to make sure its member TV and radio stations do not broadcast the rap song, which the PDEA earlier flagged as allegedly encouraging drug use.
KBP has 121 member radio and television stations themselves across the country.

Under the Broadcast Code of the Philippines "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."

READ: PDEA seeks to ban Shanti Dope song for allegedly promoting marijuana

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, in thanking NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said, "this means that 'Amatz' will no longer be seen and heard over the airwaves." 

In May, Aquino noted that the word “amatz” from “tama” or “hit” was mentioned 32 times. He said the song is catchy it would stick to the minds of the youth.

“It pertains either in the hit of alcohol or illegal drugs. In this case, ‘yung kanta niya malabo naman sigurong maging alcohol yan ano. Sabi niya meron pa siyang minention na damong mabango galing Benguet, o e ano pa ba yung damong mabango na galing Benguet, wala naman nang iba e,” he said.

(It pertains either in the hit of alcohol or illegal drugs. In this case, the song does not clearly pertain to alcohol. He also mentioned fragrant grass from Benguet, what other kind of grass smells good and is from Benguet? There’s nothing else.)

Artists: Leave cultural commentary to artists, fans and public

The Concerned Artists of the Philippines in May criticized PDEA for asking the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit and ABS-CBN to stop airing the song.

The group said PDEA was exercising a form of censorship by seeking a ban on the song for supposedly having a "double meaning." PDEA said "Amatz", which is slang for "tama" could mean the high from drugs while also meaning an attraction to someone.

"Leave the cultural commentary to the musicians, the fans, and the public at large," CAP said in May. "Instead, focus on your mandate to jail the big druglords who still roam free."

PDEA chief Aquino later challenged the rapper "to make music aligned with the war on drugs."


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