Shanti Dope camp reacts to PDEA move to ban Amatz for allegedly promoting marijuana

by Bernie V. Franco
May 24, 2019
Rapper Shanti Dope and his management release a statement after PDEA accused them of promoting illegal drug use with the song "Amatz."
PHOTO/S: Grabbed from Amatz music video

Naglabas ng official statement ang management ni Shanti Dope kaugnay ng plano ng Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) na i-ban ang current single ng rapper na “Amatz.”

Ayon sa PDEA, ipinu-promote umano ng kanta ang paggamit ng illegal drugs.

Sa press statement ni PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino nitong May 23, Huwebes, sinabi niyang ang lyrics ng kanta ay nagpo-promote sa paggamit ng marijuana.

Kontra raw ito sa kampanya ng kasalukuyang administrasyon laban sa illegal drugs.

Pahayag ni Aquino: “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.

“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.”

Narito ang bahagi ng lyrics ng “Amatz” na tinukoy ni Aquino na aniya’y nagpo-promote sa paggamit ng illegal drugs:

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“Lakas ng amats ko / Sobrang natural / Walang halong kemikal”;

“Ito hinangad ko / lipadin ay mataas pa sa kayang ipadama / Sa’yo ng gramo / ‘Di bale nang musika ikamatay.”

Binanggit din sa statement ng kampo ni Shanti ang isa pang pahayag ni Aquino tungkol sa kanyang akusasyon:

"Also, according to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino in the CNN Philippines report: ‘When I heard “Amatz,” alam ko 'yan eh that is referring to drugs, 'yung tama ng drugs.

"Nung tiningnan ko 'yung lyrics, it was indeed something na pino-promote nila, 'yung kagandahan ng marijuana and other illegal drugs.’

Pakiusap ng panig ni Shanti, pakinggan nang buo ang kanta at huwag lang magpokus sa ilang bahagi nito.

Depensa ng management ni Shanti: “The song begins with the persona talking about the ill effects, the violence, and dangers of drugs: ‘Kamatayan o parak / Na umaga o gabi, may kahabulan / Dami ng nasa ataol pa / Hangang katapusan laki ng kita sa kahuyan.’

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“It then continues to talk about the lessons from the persona’s father, and how this persona was challenged to go beyond the expected.”

Paglilinaw pa nila: “This is all in the first part of the song. And NONE of it promotes marijuana use.

"In fact it clearly shows the persona taking a stand against illegal drugs, while at the same time pointing out that what has made him 'fly' (so to speak) is not drugs, but music.

“By the time we reach the song’s chorus, “amatz” already refers to precisely the music through which the persona found his identity — not any form of drugs, but the natural high of creativity and knowing he is the only one who knows to do what he does.

“This is what the next verse then focuses on, complete with the ideological anchor of Shanti’s upbringing in Buddhism, with references to concepts such as mahamantra and chakra, as a response in the end to those who think they know the persona, but in fact know little about him.”

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Ang ginawa raw paghimay ng PDEA sa bahagi lamang ng kanta ay nakaka-offend at “unfair” para sa sumulat ng kanta.

“To take apart a song and judge it based on certain lyrics that offend us is unfair to the songwriter; to presume that our reading of a song is the only valid one is offensive to an audience that might be more mature than we think.”

Nainsulto rin daw sila sa panghuhusga kay Shanti bilang isang artist.

“We also take offense at the manner in which this questionable interpretation of the song 'Amatz' has been used to malign Shanti himself.

"This is what PDEA Director Aquino does when he said: 'Hindi pwede 'yung mga ganitong kind of music na ito at dapat hindi natin tinatangkilik itong mga klaseng artists.'

"Ano pong klaseng artist si Shanti, kung mali ang basehan ng inyong pag-ban ng kanyang kanta?"

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Ang ginagawa raw ng PDEA ay pagsupil sa karapatan ng isang artista na ipahayag ang kanyang sarili.

“Lastly, this ban sets a dangerous precedent for creative and artistic freedom in the country, when a drug enforcement agency can unilaterally decide on what a song is about, and call for its complete ban because it is presumed to go against government’s war on illegal drugs.

"This is a brazen use of power, and an affront to our right to think, write, create, and talk freely about the state of the nation."

Narito ang link na naglalaman ng buong Facebook post ng kampo ni Shanti:

https://www.facebook.com/shantidope/posts/2052209481748558?__tn__=K-R

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Rapper Shanti Dope and his management release a statement after PDEA accused them of promoting illegal drug use with the song "Amatz."
PHOTO/S: Grabbed from Amatz music video
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