TOMORROW morning, the men behind ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ will sign a memorandum of agreement with PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde and I hope and pray that the production staff will really abide by the conditions sans the word censorship. I also can’t guess if the PNP would lift its ‘withdrawal of support’ to the series—meaning its guns, stations, extras and other services to the series once the agreement is signed.
Actually, Gen. Albayalde is supposed to first meet with the directors, writers and stars of the hit ABS-CBN teleserye but he was beaten to the draw by DILG chief chief who met Coco Martin in a closed-door meeting at his Camp Crame office this week while the PNP chief is still attending an Interpol summit in Dubai.
Following the meeting which was also attended by a number of police generals led by PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Deputy Director General Jojo Mendez, ABS-CBN immediately issued a press statement that the DILG will now support the primetime series after a ‘fruitful dialogue’ with the creators of the program. I don’t know what the word ‘DILG will now support the primetime series’ means.
I wasn’t present during the meeting but the DILG chief apparently changed his previous tone as the statement said that ABS-CBN and the DILG were able to resolve the issue and ‘express their views directly to each other.’
In my own view however, I think that it should be Gen. Albayalde—the main offended party—who should have talked first with ABS-CBN, not the DILG chief as the former was the one who said that the inaccurate portrayal of the Chief,PNP in the series is very unfair to him and the entire police force.
Initially taking the cudgels for the PNP, the DILG earlier said it was seriously considering filing charges against the producers of the hit television series if they continue “with their grossly unfair and inaccurate portrayal of our police force.” However, in the aftermath of the meeting, it appears that the issues had been resolved already by the DILG minus Gen. Albayalde.
In a joint statement—I don’t know who prepared it—ABS-CBN and the DILG said that “The DILG, including its attached agency the Philippine National Police, will continue to support ‘FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’ as it continues to inspire Filipinos with the valuable lesson that in the end, good will always triumph over evil.’
The statement said the PNP cited the importance of respect of its men while recognizing the program’s freedom to create and convey its story, while ABS-CBN assured that Coco Martin will continue to portray Cardo Dalisay as a good police officer.
The PNP leadership had maintained it doesn’t want the airing of the hit TV series stopped and won’t resort to any form of censorship. However, although ABS-CBN is saying that all well that ends well, there are some concerns that should be resolved between the giant media company and the PNP.
They include the fact that although the series maintains ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ is a fiction, it is glaring that Martin and some of his fellow actors are portraying real policemen-not a work of fiction—because they wear blue uniforms with PNP patches and insignias and other accoutrements.
‘Ang Probinsiyano’ calls members of a rebel group in the series who are fighting an armed struggle against the government—Pulang Araw—not the New People’s Army apparently afraid to offend the leftist movement but they won’t mind using the word ‘PNP, Highway Patrol Group, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the same series. That’s a fact.
They are also using police guns, marked vehicles, some real policemen as extras as well as doing location shooting in different PNP stations and even the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame whose façade is being regularly seen in the hit series. That’s not fiction.
As I have written before, the PNP leadership had made it clear it does not want giant ABS-CBN to stop the airing of its hit ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ series but is merely concerned with the negative portrayal of the police force in the more than 3-year old teleserye.