DILG to meet ‘Ang Probinsyano’ producers for ‘honest discussion’

Sofia Tomacruz
DILG to meet ‘Ang Probinsyano’ producers for ‘honest discussion’

Alecs Ongcal

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año says the producers of the show 'have a moral and ethical responsibility to the nation'

MANILA, Philippines – After the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced it would consider suing the teleserye FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano over its “negative” portrayal of cops, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said producers of the show have approached the agency to iron out their differences.

“We are always open to dialogue and we look forward to meeting with them soon…. We are looking forward to a constructive meeting where both parties can relay their honest views to each other,” Año said in a statement on Monday, November 19.

The DILG previously said it would “seriously consider filing legal action and imposing sanctions” if Ang Probinsyano, which airs on ABS-CBN, continues its “grossly unfair and inaccurate portrayal of our police force.”

In a Rappler Talk interview, Año had expressed his displeasure with the show. He said it should change its plot as it is damaging the morale of members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

‘Ethical responsibility’: Año also said it is the responsibility of the show’s producers to “properly” portray the PNP to the public.

“The producers have a moral and ethical responsibility to the nation. Under the Children’s Television Act, broadcasting as a form of mass communication is impressed with public interest and the Constitution imposes upon the industry the social responsibility of ensuring that its activities serve the interest and welfare of the people,” Año said.

He added, “If they wish to proceed with the show’s current plot, they are free to utilize a fictional law enforcement agency. That would be consistent with their claim that the show is completely a work of fiction, which unfortunately is not the case.”

Año said the DILG “takes issue” with the show’s “inaccurate” use of the PNP’s logo, uniform, and insignia, among others.

He said this violates Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code, which prohibits a person from publicly and improperly using government insignia or uniforms if they are not a member of such office.

“We are disturbed, to say the least, that Ang Probinsyano has been using the name of the PNP, its logo, and other identifying characteristics while tarnishing the image of the police organization by portraying a scalawag Chief PNP and corrupt police officers who do illegal activities,” DILG Assistant Secretary Jonathan Malaya said.

Malaya also recalled the PNP’s signed agreement with the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board in 2017, which tackled the “appropriate” way police uniforms should be worn in movies and television shows.

An artists’ group slammed the DILG and PNP’s remarks, saying these were “attacks on freedom of expression” which conveyed a “chilling message” to producers, writers, and directors. – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.