MANILA, Philippines – The National Historical Institute (NHI) is looking into the possibility of filing a complaint against Journey’s Filipino front man Arnel Pineda.
In a phone interview, Teddy Atienza, chief of NHI’s Heraldry Section, disclosed that the board was not pleased when it heard Pineda’s version of “Lupang Hinirang” during the Manny Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight in the United States.
Atienza lamented that Pineda, who was also criticized for wearing a cowboy-inspired polo instead of Barong Tagalog, sang the anthem slowly as opposed to the original march tempo.
He also scored the singer for belting out the last 2 words of “Lupang Hinirang.”
He said this was a clear violation of Republic Act (RA) 8491.
"Sa amin po personally hindi po niya nasunod ang sinasaad sa RA 8491 na ang sinasabi, ang pagkanta ng Lupang Hinirang ay dapat sundin ang komposisyon ni Julian Felipe," he said.
"Ngayon po ay nangangalap kami ng ebidensiya at testimonya ng kababayan natin tungkol dito. Gagawin namin ang report at pag-aaralan ng NHI board kung ano ang aksyon ng aming tanggapan,” he added.
Atienza said the board might hold a special meeting within the week to discuss the issue.
RA 8491 prescribes that any person who will violate its provisions may be punished by a fine of at least P20,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year.
Pineda was not the first singer to be reprimanded by the NHI in connection with the wrong rendition of Lupang Hinirang. The institute also called the attention of Charice, Christian Bautista, Jennifer Bautista and Martin Nievera.
Atienza said the NHI is reprimanding these singers because it is part of the job of the institute to ensure that they follow the law.
"Nasa batas po kasi. Bilang tanggapan ng gobyerno na siyang nagpapatupad ng batas, hinihingi po namin ang tulong ng lahat, lalo na itong mga mangangantang sikat, na sana po ay kung ano ang natutunan natin sa paaralan ay sana po ay sundin natin,” he said.
Meantime, abs-cbnNEWS.com readers are divided over the issue.
While some lambasted the NHI for criticizing Pineda, others were also unhappy with the singer’s rendition of the national anthem.
Tsubibo commented: "Well, I didn't like Arnel Pineda's rendition of the Philippine National Anthem. He changed the melody in the end part of the song and got out of tune in the process. Notice the reaction on the face of Mr. Lito Camo who is standing next to him while Arnel Pineda was belting out and went out of tune? What a shame (sic)."
"Walang passion ang pagkakakanta ni arnel ng lupang hinirang. mali rin ang last few notes nung kinanta nya ito kahapon (sic)," cee chimed in.
Reader HammerSmithGrove, on the other hand, called for the amendment of the law.
“Wala naman sigurong masama don. yong mga kanta nga sa simbahan ilang beses ng pinapalitan ang notes. marahil yong batas noon maaaring hindi na angkop ngayon! (sic)" HammerSmithGrove noted. -Reyma Buan-Deveza, abs-cbnNEWS.com