'On The Wings of Love' airs apology over police uniform controversy

MANILA, Philippines – The heads of the show On The Wings of Love, starring Nadine Lustre and James Reid, have apologized to the Philippine National Police (PNP) following a previous complaint on the use of policeman's uniform during an episode of the show.

In the January 11 episode, the character of James Reid appeared to perform a striptease for Nadine Lustre's character, while wearing a policeman's uniform.  

On Monday, February 1, a statement by Dreamscape's Reicel Saguin was aired during the show:

"Mula po sa pamunuan ng On The Wings Of Love, Dreamscape, at ABS-CBN, kami ay humihingi ng tau-pusong paumanhin sa mga miyembro at pamunuan ng Philippine National Police (PNP) para sa eksena noong January 11, 2016 episode ng On The Wings Of Love kung saan ang karakter ni Clark ay pinakitang nagsasayaw sa bridal shower ni Leah habang nakasuot ng uniporme ng pulis.

"Hindi po layunin ng programa na sirain ang imahe, o di kaya’y saktan ang damdamin, ng mga pulis at ng kanilang mga pamilya.

"Kasalukuyang kaming gumagawa ng mga hakbang upang ito'y hindi na mangyari muli. Tutulong po kami sa pagtaguyod ng positibong paglalarawan ng ating Pambansang Pulisya at kung kailangan, aktibong makikipag-ugnayan sa ganang ito sa Public Information Office (PIO) at Police Community Relations Group (PCRG) ng PNP," read the statement. 

(From the heads of Dreamscape, ABS-CBN, and On The Wings Of Love, we apologize to the members and heads of the PNP for a scene that aired in the January 11 episode. The scene showed the character Clark dancing at a bridal shower for Leah while wearing a police uniform. 

It was not our intention to ruin the image, or hurt the feelings of policemen and their families.

We are currently working on steps to ensure that this does not happen again. We are going to help in showing a positive image of the country's police and if needed, we will actively be in touch with the Public Information Office [PIO] and the Police Community Relations Group [PCRG] of the PNP.)

Later in the episode, Clark and his cousins were scolded by their grandmother, played by Nanette Inventor, for using the police uniform in the bridal shower, prompting an apology from them.

The show previously received complaints from police officers and viewers regarding the incident, with many saying that the show disrespected police officers' roles and their uniform.

The PCRG posted a short statement via Twitter on January 13 about the proper use of the uniform.

Sana lang po lahat ng inilalabas sa TV ay nirereview ng maayos tulad ng paggamit ng tama sa Uniporme. may batas po tyo dyan #OTWOLAcceptance — PCRG (@PNP_PCRG) January 13, 2016


In a letter dated January 18, the MTRCB summoned those behind the episode to dialogue with the PNP over the matter, saying that a previous apology made by the network was not specific about concrete actions to be taken following the issue. 

"We gather that the network concerned recently issued an "apology" over media. However, the purported apology was in general terms, and did not specify what concrete and measurable steps that the progam as well as the network will take to prevent any repeat of the incident," read that letter posted on the MTRCB website

In a follow-up letter dated January 26, the actions agreed upon by the different parties were enumerated. These include the airing of an apology no later than February 1, that it will carry the byline of show co-director Reicel Saguin, who was identified as the one primarily accountable for the scene, and that the program will also have a scene focusing on respect for the role and uniform of a policeman. 

The letter also explains that media is not barred from exploring the darker sides to the occupation. 

Additionally, the letter adds that the parties agreed that "the network and program shall endeavor, when applicable, to observe the positive portrayal of the PNP and its personnel with due regard to their uniform, insignia, procedures, and related matters (though it being understood that this shall not undermine the progam's freedom of expression)."

Finally, as can be seen in the apology that was aired, they also agreed that if necessary, the show will consult with the PNP when it comes to handling material about police officers and the like. 

Shot partly in San Francisco, On The Wings of Love tells the story of Clark and Leah, who agree to an arranged marriage so Leah can continue working to provide for her family. They soon find themselves falling in love and going through challenges in their relationship. – Rappler.com