The Daily Manila Shimbun


PDEA concerned over alleged involvement of rappers in drug trade

August 22, 2019

The head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Thursday has expressed concern over alleged involvement of rappers in illegal drug activities.

In a statement, PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said rappers engaged themselves into video-sharing websites to boost their connections and ply their trade after they were able to arrest some during operations.

“The arrested artists promote their music through video-sharing websites, when in reality, they have this hidden agenda of boosting their connections to ply their trade,” he said.

Aquino identified one of the rappers as Arlny Dimabuyu, popularly known as “Xander Bay” 21, a blogger and YouTube sensation, was arrested in a buy-bust operation in Pampanga last August 18.

Dimabuyu allegedly sells and supplies party drugs to  social gatherings of his followers in YouTube.

Seized from him were one transparent sachet containing five grams of dried marijuana leaves worth ₱500, and nine pieces of ecstasy tablets with an estimated street value of ₱15,900.

Two more rappers identified as John Kenneth Satahirapan, 27; and Alexis Baniqued, 30, and their cohorts were arrested during an entrapment operation in Cubao, Quezon City last July 30. 

Confiscated from them were sachets of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, dried marijuana leaves and drug paraphernalia.

“Rap is fast becoming the most popular music genre among the youth. Rappers Dimabuyu, Satahirapan and Baniqued enjoy quite a following online, but are hooked or involved in the illegal drug trade.  This poses danger to the younger generation whose vulnerable minds may be misled that recreational use of illegal drugs is cool and harmless,” said Aquino.

It can also be recalled that the PDEA, with the assistance of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), Kapisanan Ng Mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) and National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), led the move of renewed censorship against songs with inappropriate content whose lyrics advocate drug use after famous Shanti Dope released his song “Amatz”.  Ella Dionisio/DMS