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Banning of song ‘promoting’ drug use lauded

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Saturday lauded the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas for its decision to block the airing of the song “Amatz” by Shanti Dope.

In a statement, PDEA director general Aaron Aquino thanked KBP chairperson Hernan Z. Basbaño for the organization’s move.

“We respect and appreciate our artists in the music industry. But we strongly oppose the promotion of musical pieces or songs that encourage the recreational use of drugs like marijuana and shabu. It is contrary to our fight against illegal drugs,” he said.

Aquino said airing songs that featured the use of illegal drugs as harmless could mislead the youth into believing that it was okay to use illegal drugs.

“This runs contrary to the Duterte administration’s crusade against illegal drugs,” he said.

In a circular dated June 4, the KBP reminded its members to observe the restrictions stated in Article 15 (Music), Section 4 of the Broadcast Code of the Philippines issued in 2007 and amended in 2011.

Under the code, “songs with lyrics or messages that are vulgar, indecent, promote substance abuse, gender discrimination, racism, violence or sexual perversion, or demeans a member of any sector of society shall not be played.”

The circular was issued in response to the PDEA letter-complaint dated May 29 regarding the live performances of Shanti Dope, rendering the song “Amatz” on Umagang Kay Ganda and ASAP, both programs of ABS-CBN, on March 27 and May 19, respectively.

The letter has been endorsed to the KBP Standard Authority, a body of the organization that is empowered to hear and adjudicate complaints of possible violations of the KBP Broadcast Code.

The KBP is a non-government, nonprofit organization of the broadcast media in the Philippines. It promotes an independent and free broadcast media, responsible broadcasting, enhanced public service by broadcasters, advancement of innovation in broadcasting, and the development of Philippine broadcasting.

It has 121 members composed of owners and operators of radio and television stations, including the radio and television stations themselves, all over the country.

In a letter dated May 20, PDEA also requested the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), and ABS-CBN Corp. to prevent the airing and promotion of “Amatz” in media stations nationwide.

PDEA also sent a letter-complaint to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) dated May 29 recommending that “Amatz” and songs of the same nature should not be played on the airwaves and other forms of media.

The NTC is an attached agency of the Department of Information and Communications Technology that is responsible for the supervision, adjudication, and control over all telecommunications services in the country.

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