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NHI Claims Martin Nievera’s Version of ‘Lupang Hinirang’ is Against the Law

Teddy Atienza, head of the Heraldry Division of the National Historical Institute (NHI), said Martin Nievera violated Section 37 of the Republic Act No. 8491 by NOT singing the Philippine National Anthem in accordance with the musical arrangement of its composer Julian Felipe.

“Mali ang pagkanta niya…dapat sinundan niya ang nakalagay sa batas,” Atienza said in a radio interview criticizing Martin Nievera’s version that the crooner sang at the Pacquiao-Hatton bout as against the law.

He even stressed that violators of this law will have to pay a fine between P5,000 and P20,000 or spend up to a year in prison. He asked Martin to ask for public apology for “tweaking” the Philippine National Anthem.

To add insult to the injury, the logo of the National Historical Institute was flashed right after Martin Nievera hit the final note.

On the other hand, Martin Nievera issued a statement on 24 Oras saying he will not apologize.


“My boss, Manny Pacquiao told me, ‘basta wag yung mabagal. Gusto ko ‘yong parang march ang feel,’” Martin said.

Pacquiao personally chose Martin to sing the national anthem for the boxer’s highly-anticipated bout with the British pugilist. Martin became the first male artist to sing the Philippine National Anthem in all of Pacman’s bouts after more than 10 female artists.

It’s interesting to note that in the past, the National Historial Institute (NHI) also reprimanded Charice, Jennifer Bautista and Christian Bautista for deviating from the song’s original form.

All three singers have apologized, saying it was not their intention that some notes or lines in the song were changed or omitted.

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