Philippine National Police cuts links with ‘Ang Probinsyano’

November 18, 2018

ALL Philippine National Police units have been ordered to withdraw their assistance to ABS-CBN’s “Ang Probinsyano,” meaning no more police guns, vehicles, extras and stations and facilities where shootings of the hit teleserye are being made, usually for free, in the wake of a complaint by the PNP leadership that the television show, although fictitious, has put the entire police force in a bad light, the Journal Group learned yesterday.

In a memorandum to all 17 Police Regional Directors and heads of the different PNP National Support Units, Director Eduardo Serapio M. Garado, the head of the PNP Directorate for Police-Community Relations, called for the withdrawal of all police assistance to “Ang Probinsyano.”

“While our PNP legal officers are studying our legal options, there is a need to immediately withdraw the PNP’s assistance, if there is any in the production of the teleserye. The use of PNP facilities, vehicles and firearms, participation of some PNP personnel and shots of PNP offices and buildings in some segments or scenes, as well as the acknowledgement to PNP Officers and units gave the impression that the storyline of the ‘Ang Probinsyano’ is with the approval of the PNP. This is far from true.

“In this regard, all units, offices and personnel are advised  to immediately refrain from assisting, to withdraw their support to the production of the said teleserye  in terms of PNP resources like patrol cars, firearms, personnel, venues and other items and gadgets being used in the teleserye,” Garado said.

Shooting of “Ang Probinsyano” started nearly three years ago at the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame, mostly at the Police-Community Relations Group and later the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group before spreading to other police stations and facilities.

The production staff of the teleserye is known for borrowing marked police cars and other patrol vehicles as well as PNP firearms and other accoutrements and using real policemen as extras.

However, the PNP leadership headed by Director General Oscar D. Albayalde had already raised a howl of protest on the way the series depicts top police officials and their men saying this is very far from the truth.

“This pertains to the teleserye on ABS-CBN entitled ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ which was the subject of a letter of complaint by the Director, Police Community Relations Group to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board on September 24, 2018. The issues raised in the letter include among others the portrayal of high-ranking PNP officials as corrupt, the improper wearing of PNP uniforms, portrayal of the rebel group “Vendetta” a hero while the PNP and the Presidential Security Group as villains,” said Garado.

According to the official, a dialogue between the PCRG, the MTRCB and staff of the “Ang Probinsiyano” was held last October 17 and 23 in order to discuss the issues raised by the PNP.

“The representatives from the said teleserye promised to make the necessary corrections on the issues raised by the PNP in a week’s time. However, after more than two weeks, no visible correction was made. Instead, the teleserye continued with its daily wrongful portrayal of PNP officers as corrupt and ineffective, including the Chief, PNP and other high government officials. This puts the PNP organization in a bad light and causes unwanted damage to its dignity and reputation,” Garado said.

“While the PNP respects and recognizes the freedom of expression of writers, movie makers and actors in the development of their talents, we also believe that this freedom is not without limit. More so, if the continued unfair portrayal of the PNP organizations, its officers and personnel leads already to a wrong perception by the public on the institution. This creates confusion especially in the minds of the youth who are viewing it. There is a need to correct the situation,” the 2-star police general added.