‘Ang Probinsyano’ brouhaha: PNP to stop lending equipment
The Philippine National Police (PNP) sought to assure the public that it won’t be taking measures to censor popular prime time television show “Ang Probinsyano” despite its negative portrayal of the police.
The PNP, however, has withdrawn its logistical support for the show.
According to PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Benigno Durana, as of Friday last week, the PNP had decided to stop “lending” logistics to the show, such as firearms and vehicles being used as props, shooting locations in police headquarters and even a security contingent for the production outfit.
“Our primary concern is just to protect the institutional integrity of the PNP, which is being maligned by the projection that majority of the PNP is corrupt,” Durana said, in an interview with reporters on Monday.
“That’s why we withdrew our support for ‘Ang Probinsyano.’ Why would we be complicit to a party that destroys us or the public interest?” the police spokesperson added.
Durana maintained that although the television show was fictional, “we cannot underestimate that it shapes the perception of people. And perception could be the reality.”
“There are scalawags in our midst, but they don’t reflect the majority. So it demoralizes us and our families and friends,” Durana said.
Durana, however, said that no less than the show’s leading man, actor Coco Martin, who is playing besieged police officer Cardo Dalisay, had apologized for offending the PNP and requested for a meeting with PNP chief Oscar Albayalde on Monday “so we can come up with a compromise beneficial to both parties.”
Earlier, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) threatened to sue the show’s production outfit allegedly for “improper” use of the PNP insignia and uniform, among other things.
On Monday, the DILG said the production outfit had already reached out and sought a meeting within the week on the PNP’s concerns.
“We do not wish to dictate on the producers the show’s plot or story line nor do we want the show to be canceled,” said Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, who has supervision of the PNP.
“But we take issue with the use of PNP uniforms and insignia in a show that paints a grossly inaccurate picture of the entire police organization,” Año said.
“If they wish to proceed with the show’s current plot, they are free to utilize a fictional law enforcement agency,” he said.
“That would be consistent with their claim that the show is completely a work of fiction, which unfortunately is not the case,” Año added.
Former Quezon Rep. Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III dared police to sue the popular TV show so law enforcers would learn first-hand what freedom of expression and freedom of speech truly meant.
Speaking in Dagupan City on Tuesday after meeting with local officials, Tañada said it was the task of police and the DILG to clean up their image and not blame a TV series.
“The truth hurts. They are too onion-skinned,” he said, reacting to statements made against the show by Albayalde and Año.
“I encourage them to file so they will be educated,” Tañada said.
Promoting police image was “not the responsibility of the media.” —With reports from Yolanda Sotelo and Kimberlie Quitasol
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