The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) was dismayed by the song of Shantie Dope entitled “Amatz” and asked authorities to ban the airing of it. 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 the different media stations throughout the country.
The chorus of the song is mostly about ‘Lakas ng amats ko, sobrang natural, walang halong kemikal’. At the same time, the lyrics also mention, “Ito hinangad ko; lipadin ay mataas pa sa kayang ipadama sayo ng gramo, di bale ng musika ikamatay,” Aquino said, promotes 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.
“We respect and appreciate our artists in the music industry, however, 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,” Aquino added.
He said 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 all right to use illegal drugs. “This runs contrary to Duterte’s administration crusade against illegal drugs,” Aquino said. PDEA also recommends that songs of similar forms should be banned from being aired.