BTS fans slam Filipino politician for using same acronym for bloc campaign

Former Speaker of the House Alan Cayetano has said he didn't mean to offend the BTS ARMY

BTS fans have hit out at Filipino politician Alan Cayetano for using the name “BTS” for a bloc campaign in the House of Representatives.

Yesterday (January 12), Cayetano – who was ousted as Speaker of the House of Representatives in late 2020 – made a bid for a comeback by unveiling an ‘independent’ bloc of seven new lawmakers. They united under the banner “BTS sa Kongreso”, with the acronym standing for “Back to Service”, as ABS-CBN reported.

The country’s faction of the BTS fanbase, known as the ARMY, decried Cayetano’s use of the acronym, responding with the hashtag campaign #CayetanoStopUsingBTS, which trended on Twitter on Wednesday (January 13).

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Fans have accused Cayetano of capitalising on the K-pop group’s fame, while others have also condemned the Filipino government’s alleged corruption. Some ARMY members called for fans to write into the boyband’s management, Big Hit Entertainment, using email templates.

 

Cayetano has since claimed that the use of the “BTS” acronym was not meant to offend the ARMY.

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“Whether the group garnered negative or positive publicity, it is not meant to offend the fans. But don’t mix it with politics because we don’t,” he told ABS-CBN.

Representative Mike Defenso, who was listed as one of the lawmakers under the BTS bloc, is unfazed by fans’ criticism. “Doesn’t affect me. Substance is what matters,” he told ABS-CBN. “Any group, bloc, person and company have a right to a name but what they stand for and the reason for their existence is what matters.”

Though the acronym was common usage before the K-pop group was founded, and is still used to mean “behind the scenes”, for instance, Big Hit officially trademarked “BTS” and “ARMY” in December 2018.

Last December, Spotify revealed that BTS came in at number two on the service’s most-streamed artists in the Philippines, beaten only by local folk-pop group Ben&Ben.

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