MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa surprised fans at Rakrakan Festival 2017 with a song.
The PNP chief performed “Darating” with Banda Ni Kleggy at the Move stage, one of the 5 stages at the festival.
Dela Rosa gave a speech after the song, asking the audience not to do drugs.
“Ito lang po ang appeal [ko] sa inyo. Sana po kayong lahat… ay susuporta sa ating war on drugs. Wala pong ibang hangad ang ating presidenteng Rodrigo Roa Duterte kundi linisin ang ating Pilipinas,” he said.
(This is my appeal to you. I hope you all… support our war on drugs. Our president Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants nothing more than to clean up our Philippines.)
Dela Rosa trailed off as the crowd chanted Duterte’s name.
The President has waged an anti-drug campaign since July 2016. To date, more than 6,200 deaths – both from police operations and vigilante-style killings – have been linked to the war on drugs.
“Hindi po kailangan maging durugista para maging rakista, ‘di ba? Stay high with music, not with drugs. ‘Yung drugs walang mapupuntahan iyan, walang kinabukasan,” Dela Rosa continued.
(You don’t need to be a druggie to be a rocker, right? Stay high with music, not with drugs. You won’t get anywhere with drugs, you’ll have no future.)
He shared that before, rock music was associated with drugs. “Pero ngayon, sa nakikita ko, ang daming grupo ngayon, ang daming rakista – music lang, music! Walang drugs.”
(But now, based on what I’m seeing, there are so many groups, so many rockers – only music, just music. No drugs.)
For the first time this year, the Rakrakan music festival had the theme “OPM Against Drugs,” a reaction, said the event organizers, to the drug-related deaths at the Closeup Forever Summer concert in 2016.
In line with the theme, the event had anti-drug initiatives in partnership with government groups alongside their usual festival activities like a skateboarding competition and a street art contest.
Several artists pulled out from Rakrakan, however, saying they oppose the extrajudicial killings linked to Duterte’s war on drugs. – Rappler.com