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TV show, PNP agree to ‘truthful’ portrayal of cops

‘CONSULTATIVE EYE’ PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde says he will lay off the plot of the series but watch for errors. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

‘CONSULTATIVE EYE’ PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde says he will lay off the plot of the series but watch for errors. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Top police officials and producers of “Ang Probinsyano” on Monday agreed to hold their fire and let the TV series run its course as long as it rendered a “true-to-life” depiction of the police force.

Both parties reached an understanding when they sat down for a dialogue at Camp Crame following the officials’ threats to withdraw logistical support and take legal action against the show over its negative portrayal of the Philippine National Police.

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Under the terms of agreement, the hit series will continue to have access to PNP logistics, such as patrol cars, venues, personnel, firearms and gadgets during production.

In exchange, the show is expected to give a truthful portrayal of the force, its officers and men.

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Police officials said the show could start with the “proper wearing of the PNP uniform.”

“Until the succeeding season of ‘Ang Probinsyano,’ we hope to put all the animosity and clashing opinions behind us, and introduce to our countrymen the true-to-life Filipino police officers imbued with the finest tradition of valor, service and sacrifice for God, country and people,” PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde told reporters in a briefing.

‘Consultative’ role

Albayalde assured the public that the PNP would lay off the plot but would keep a “consultative” eye. He did not elaborate.

The top-rated series, which revolves around SPO2 Cardo Dalisay, played by actor Coco Martin, who tries to take down a corrupt police force, has riled officials of the PNP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

But the dialogue between Albayalde and executives of Dreamscape, producers of the show, somehow eased the tension.

Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said the memorandum of understanding would bind the DILG and PNP to continue to respect the TV network’s “freedom to create and convey the story of the program, so long as it also respects the integrity and good name of the PNP.”

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“Without giving us details on the plot, ABS-CBN’s commitment to give a balanced and fair portrayal of the PNP shall help boost the morale of the thousands of police officers on the ground especially now that internal reforms have been instituted to weed out misfits in the police organization,” Año said in a statement.

No change in plot

Weighing in on the matter, Sen. Grace Poe said the series had not changed its plot simply because the PNP had expressed its displeasure with it.

Poe said the show was based on the movie of the same title that starred her father, the late action movie king Fernando Poe Jr., and the show’s story was already determined from the start.

“There were really changes. It was not changed because they were dictated to. And we ourselves who provide the license for the show would not allow that because I don’t want to change the story just to please those who are in power,” she told reporters.

While there was “some sort of pressure” from the police, the most it accomplished was to get the producers to bare the show’s next story arc, she added.

Long-term plans

“The pressure that came to this is probably the producers have to tell them their long-term plans,” Poe said.

It would just be much easier for producers to have the PNP’s cooperation for the show, she said.

What was important, according to the senator, was that the two sides talked and that the government would not infringe on the freedom of speech and creative freedom.

Poe also said people should be patient with “Ang Probinsyano” because the story was changing over time.

“It’s just like real life. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. So let’s be patient with the whole story,” she said.

The theme of the show is that the truth would prevail in the end and the bad guys would be beaten. But along the way, the protagonist of the story would go through hardships, she said.

According to Poe, the show actually gives the police a good image.

Because of the protagonist Cardo Dalisay, many children want to join the police force, she said.

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