MANILA -- The rendition of Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda of “Lupang Hinirang” drew praises and criticisms in the virtual world after the National Historical Institute (NHI) announced Monday it is set to file charges against Pineda for his stylized singing.

Popular search engine Yahoo! Philippines posted the question “Should Filipino and Journey frontman Arnel Pineda be penalized for his rendition of the "Lupang Hinirang?”

The thread attracted 488 responses as of this posting, some thanking Pineda for the nice singing while others lambasted the international singer for the different tune in Sunday’s Pacquiao-Clottey fight.

Tito said: “Yes so that everybody will be sincere to adopt the same tone and tempo because this is our national anthem and we should be able to sang it well because our children who are studying are asking why we have different tone and tempo during our daily morning national anthem in school so I think we should be strict on this matter.”

SgtMark commented in defense of Pineda: “In my own opinion, I didn't see anything wrong with Arnel Pineda's rendition of Philippine National Anthem. He sang it the way it was supposed to be sung. The only different from that performance was the voice. What do you expect? He's a rock star! His voice is like that. It only seemed different because of his voice but the tempo, the pitch, the rhythm...”

The Republic Act 8491 (Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines) prescribes that any person who will violate its provisions may be punished by a fine of at least P20,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year.

But rstlaw0520 said Pineda could be not charged in the Philippines due to lack of jurisdiction.

“Mr. Pineda sung the Lupang Hinirang in Arlington, Texas, USA. For all purposes, assuming that he indeed violated that particular law when he sung the Lupang Hinirang, he did it in USA. Mr. Pineda cannot thus be penalized because Philippine penal laws have no effect whatsoever in the United States of America.”

Yahoo! users only have four days left to answer the question.

(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)