Philpop rejects 'suggested' disqualification of two finalists

2 June 2012

MANILA, Philippines - After staying silent for days, organizers of the songwriting contest Philippine Popular Music Festival (Philpop) has finally released a statement relating to "requests" for two of their 14 finalists to be disqualified, this, for having supposedly been "published" already prior to being submitted for consideration in the contest.

According to Philpop the songs "3:00 AM" and "Slowdancing" by Keiko Necesario and John Kennard Eleazar Faraon, respectively, couldn't be disqualified despite protest that these have already been streamed on YouTube.

The committee, via a statement posted on the contest' official Facebook fanpage, said that the two songs did not violate any stipulation given to the contest, as, upon "revisiting" contest rules, they "found" that "publication" is not among clauses that would allow
for the disqualification of entries.

Then again, it admitted via the same statement, that they had, indeed, issued an announcement pertaining to the same that, "unfortunately, deviated from, and expanded, the rules by including 'publication' as among the grounds for disqualification."

"We sincerely apologize for this mistake and for the confusion that our statements have caused, and we take full responsibility for our actions," it said.

Here's Philpop's statement in full.

"It has recently come to our attention that the qualification of two of our top 14 finalists are being questioned after it has been discovered that their entries have been "published", the same having been uploaded in YouTube prior to the competition.

After revisiting the Song Entry and Submission Rules, as published in our website, we found that "publication" is not one of the grounds for disqualification. What the rules require, among other things, are that the song entry must: (i) be entirely original; (ii) not be licensed to any publisher; (iii) not have been recorded before; and (iv) not infringe on any existing copyright or any other rights

Nowhere is it indicated in the rules that the entry should not have been published.

However, the statements that we subsequently issued in response to queries, unfortunately, deviated from, and expanded, the rules by including "publication" as among the grounds for disqualification. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and for the confusion that our statements have caused, and we take full responsibility for our actions.

We are standing by the two finalists because we believe that disqualifying them would create more injustice as we will deviate from the rules.

With this statement, we hope that we can now put the "publication" issue to rest, and channel our energies to more productive pursuits that will reinvigorate the local music industry - the very essence of PhilPop's existence.

We are happy to announce that the final judging and presentation will take place, as originally scheduled, on July 14, 2012 at the Philippine International Convention Center, with the 14 finalists as
earlier announced.

We thank you for your support and understanding. Let us all work together to elevate the state of OPM!"

The statement, however, seemingly did not appease some netizens who have been following the issue.

Chelie Caminero said, "kahit ilang finalists pa lumabag sa rules ng Philpop. ok lan yon! kasi hahanapan rin yan ng palusot. kasi di na nman intindihan ng Philpop mismo ang rules nila."

Ryan Regala Manal added, "Wala!!!!!! Ang daya ng Philpop! dapat ma impeach kayong lahat!!!"

One, a certain Phil Jose, even added, "Takusa" by Byron Ricamara to the list of songs that he said should have been disqualified from the contest, alleging that Ricamara and his band Squeezers, have "been playing it during there (sic) gigs."

As of this writing, Philpop has yet to respond to his allegation.