‘Kawatan’ is protest anthem

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A Filipino spin-off from a British pop hit became the catchy anthem for the thousands who took part in the Million People March at Rizal Park in Manila on Monday.

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The song, “Kawatan” (Thief), was sung in front of the Quirino Grandstand by 1980s novelty singer and comedian Jograd de la Torre.

“Kawatan” is sung to the tune of “Price Tag” by British pop singer Jessie J.
Amid shouts from the audience demanding an end to the pork barrel, the lyrics had an ominous ring to them.

“Kukurakot sila doon sa left/ Kukurakot sila doon sa right/ Magdasal tayo na sila’y/ Bangungutin tonite.

“Kawatan ng money, money/Ay naku kayo ay huling huli/ Mga adik sa pera/ Gahaman sa kuwarta/ Tigilan niyo na ang cheating, cheating/ Pagka’t kayo ay buking, buking. [They’ll plunder from the left/ They’ll plunder from the right/ Let’s pray that they/ Have a nightmare tonight; Thieves of money, money/ Gosh you’re caught, caught/ Addicts of money/ Greedy for money/ Stop this cheating, cheating/ Because you’re now busted, busted].”

There was no stage, and the sound system was far from concert level, but De la Torre had the audience swaying and singing the refrain with him.

Originally posted in YouTube in 2012, de la Torre’s “Kawatan” went viral after the P10-billion pork barrel surfaced earlier this month.

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