NTC Orders KBP To Keep SHANTI DOPE's "Amatz" Off Airwaves
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) remains unwavering and unconvinced that Shanti Dope's single "Amatz" does not promote the recreational use of illegal drugs. Now, the agency has the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to back them up.
In June 7, NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba directed Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) president Herman Basbaño to ban the airing of the song in its radio and TV networks.
"Together with the PDEA, the Commission strongly supports President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's fight against illegal drugs and as part of our commitment to this administration's crusade, the KBP is hereby directed to enforce compliance with Article 15, Section 4 of the Broadcast Code regarding the song 'Amatz' by Shanti Dope in all its member radio and TV stations," the document reads per CNN Philippines.
Article 15 (Music), Section 4 of Broadcast Code of the Philippines 2007 (as amended 2011) states that, "Songs with lyrics or messages that are vulgar, indecent, promote substance abuse, gender discrimination, racism, Satanism, violence or sexual perversion or demean a member of any sector of society shall not be played.
NTC added that Shanti's "freedom of expression, like any other right, such is not absolute if it contravenes public interest, public order, public safety and the general welfare of the children and youth."
About a month ago, Shanti's management slammed the ban for setting "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," the statement concluded.