Rico Blanco

In a nutshell:
- The use of the song "Posible" from Gibo's side was legal.
- The dispute is between Rico Blanco and his former manager Lizza Nakpil. They have been embroiled in a legal battle for years.
- Rico Blanco left the band Rivermaya years ago.
- The "Posible" ad was replaced not because it was not legal, but because the controversy that was created around it made it impractical to continue airing the ad.

See more details and the copyright certificate on Spot.Ph.

The existing band members of Rivermaya fully support Gibo, as seen from the song "Lipad" that they wrote especially for him (for free).

"Ang kantang "Lipad" ng Rivermaya ay regalo ng Rivermaya at ni Gibo sa lahat ng estudyante, lalo na ang graduating students of 2010. Since we agree with Gibo Teodoro's vision for our youth and his plan for our country, we agreed that a version of this song would be used in Gibo's ad, which turned out to be more of a music video than an ad. Both Rivermaya and Team Gibo wanted something different that would set us apart from the traditional political ad. We support Gibo not only as Rivermaya but also as responsible citizens of the Phlippines, and for this we did not expect any payment for our participation. We are not endorsers because endorsers are paid, like you, we are supporters! Our only request was that we be allowed to give away the song "Lipad" for FREE. Very soon, it will be part of a free bonus CD that will be given to students with valid IDs. The bonus CD will also include an acoustic version of "Lipad" and an acoustic version of our other single called "Ambotsa" short for "Ambot sa imo". This is Rivermaya's first song featuring english, tagalog and bisaya lyrics. You may also listed to all it on our own facebook page at www.facebook.com/rivermayamusic. Maraming salamat :)"
Facebook message of Rivermaya's Mark Escueta

Rivermaya's Mark Escueta with Gibo

Rivermaya's Jayson Fernandez with Gibo

Gibo with Rivermaya's Mark Escueta and Mark's girlfriend Jolina Magdangal

Here's the Facebook message of Dennis Garcia, the musical scorer behind the "Posible" ad. It shows how Warner Music and Rico Blanco exploited the situation.

I am a painfully shy person and this incident has given me extreme (and undeserved) irritation and anxiety. But I have always told my kids – never back off from a fight when you know you are right.

And so… my side.

I have been doing creative work for political clients for nearly two decades. At every opportunity, I make it a point to recommend that my clients use Original Pinoy Music. More often than not, OPM tends to make a campaign material ‘feel good’ and creates a connection with the audience much, much faster. What’s even nicer, it helps rekindle fondness for Original Pinoy Music whose rise to popularity I am proud to be a part of (with my band HOTDOG).

And I have unleashed this passion for OPM every election season. There was “Umagang Kay Ganda” for a Joe de Venecia TV ad in 1998. And the unforgettable “Mr Palengke” in 2004, Mar Roxas’ battle hymn adapted from a Parokya ni Edgar song. In 2007, there was Alan Peter Cayetano’s “Ito ang Gusto Ko” adapted from Francis M’s classic ditty. Same year saw Darlene Custodio knock out Pacman with “Bongga Ka ‘Day”. And the list goes on and on…

Recently, I was tasked to score the music for a Gibo Teodoro TV material. Given a free hand to use whatever music (existing or original) I want… I opted to go OPM.

I chose a gem I heard extensively during the SEA Games in Manila a few years back. The song was "Posible"… and I tracked down the artists and the publisher through my Viva friends.

The publisher turned out to be Ms. Lizza Nakpil. I had the paperwork prepared, the details spelled out… and paid the agreed-upon license fees (one of the perks of my being a composer is the fact that I tend to get charged much, much cheaper fees. Of course, the savings are always passed on to clients. Friend's price!).

I recorded the tune with the intention of staying faithful to the inspiring spirit of the song – with just one, solitary lyric change… ‘Gibo’ instead of ‘Laban’.

Everyone involved was happy with the results. The music, though merely there for setting the mood, was a great fit.

However when the TVC aired… a million speculations and conspiracy theories were hatched.

Each one – wrong.

No. The song was not illegally used. (I’m one of the staunchest defenders of Intellectual Property Rights – and will fight for its enforcement… patayan kung patayan.)

No. The song was not created to make it appear the band was endorsing the candidate.

No. We didn't hire a sound-alike to fool people. (The singer is one of my in-house talents who NEVER mimics other voices)

No. Gibo was not ignorant of IPR laws. (A trusting soul… Gibo left things up to me – showing a complete faith in my judgment, in my knowledge of how to be fair to my fellow musicians and songwriters… and in my inherent desire to always push for Original Pinoy Music.)

Through my nephew Toti Dalmacion, head of Terno Records, I relayed all these points to Rico Blanco (front man/creative guru of Rivermaya) who was being bombarded by tweets that mostly peddled innuendos. He listened and showed appreciation for the facts… and the truth.

I set a meeting with him on Jan. 6 to clear the air and correct any misconceptions. And he readily accepted. On the appointed date, he said there was no need to meet... that he knew there was no bad faith involved and that I should just inform his management team at Warner Music about the license.

Not content with just a phone call, I took pains to have the license sent to Warner Music’s offices on Jan. 7 for their review. (This completely creates doubts about Warner Music’s assertion in their press releases on Jan. 8 and 9 that “all it would have taken was phone call” to fix the matter.)

With the combative actions of Warner, I contacted Lizza to provide me with additional supporting papers for the song… which she did.

I now wonder what motives are behind this whole episode. There was never an instance of bad faith. Why penalize a diehard supporter of OPM? Why so many press releases? Why target Gibo ruthlessly?

But what worries me more is the fact that this incident will needlessly scare candidates from using Original Pinoy Music for their campaigns.

Goodbye, OPM. Hello… ‘nobody, nobody but you’.

PS. I expect a sincere apology from Rico Blanco and his music label. I also intend to file a case of piracy of my lyrics for the songs "O Lumapit Ka" and "Ikaw Pa Rin" which Warner Music brazenly used without remuneration and permission. Hey guys, practice what you preach.