JOURNEY lead singer Arnel Pineda informally apologized Tuesday to the National Historical Institute (NHI) for his rendition of the Philippine national anthem before Pacquiao-Clottey bout in Texas, USA on Sunday.

Pineda, who arrived in the country Tuesday, said he already issued an apology before reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila and said he is willing to face possible charges that may be filed against him by the NHI before the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The NHI earlier said it was filing a case against Pineda for changing the tone and tempo of the national anthem. The NHI is the government body tasked to ensure respect for the national anthem, Philippine flag and other national symbols.

Pineda’s “wrong” version of the “Lupang Hinirang”, NHI said, violated the provisions of the country’s Flag and Heraldic Code. The NHI said the national anthem must be sung in accordance to its original arrangement.

The “Lupang Hinirang” is originally arranged and composed by Julian Felipe.

“I was thinking, at least we have an artistic freedom to express ourselves the way I want to express the song…I really apologize for my dissatisfactory performance according to their (NHI) standard,” Pineda said in a television interview Tuesday.

He said he sang the anthem “with sincerity and dedication” to represent the Philippines and the Filipinos abroad.

Pineda acknowledged receipt of NHI’s guidelines in singing the anthem but said he failed to read it before his performance at the Cowboy’s Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

He also said that his dress during Pacquiao’s fight wasn’t a cowboy outfit but a modern Philippine barong designed by renowned Filipino designer Ariel Agasang.

The DOJ, for its part, said it is willing to form a panel of prosecutors to handle the possible complaint against Pineda.

The NHI has criticized a number of Filipino singers who “wrongly” sung the Philippine national anthem in recent fights of Pacquiao abroad. (Sunnex)