Tito Sotto Wants to Change the Last Line of "Lupang Hinirang"

It's a very critical matter.

(SPOT.ph) On September 19, Senator Tito Sotto, in his interpellation during plenary debates on the proposed amendment to Republic Act 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, suggested revising the last line of "Lupang Hinirang" from "ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo" to "ang ipaglaban ang kalayaan mo." Senator Richard Gordon concurred with Sotto’s assessment of the anthem’s last line as “defeatist.”

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The National Anthem has undergone several changes throughout the century. It was translated into Filipino by Julian Cruz Balmaceda, Ildefonso Santos, and Francisco Caballo. The Filipino version was sung for the first time in 1956. Additional revisions were made in the 1960s by National Artist Felipe Padilla de Leon. The Filipino lyrics are considered the official one, as stated by Republic Act 8491, and are currently in use.

The highly crucial issue of changing the National Anthem’s last line comes in the midst of a slew of issues currently plaguing the country, such as the aftermath of Ompong, the tumbling stock market, and the ongoing rice shortage, the existence of which is being hotly debated about. The proposed change also misses the point of the anthem’s last line, which we think packs a more nationalistic, ride-or-die punch in comparison to the tepid “ipaglaban ang kalayaan mo.”

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