Ever since it premiered on ABS-CBN back in 2015, “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” a tele-serye adaptation of a 1997 film by the late Philippine action movie king Fernando Poe Jr., has had the wide support of the country’s viewing audience in its grasp. Even government officials and the Philippine National Police have given the show accolades over the years. But this relationship with law enforcement authorities is not always smooth. While the PNP has limited creative control over the production, it does make its opinions publicly known on storylines and plot developments. And recently “Ang Probinsyano” has its narrative questioned anew.
CNN Philippines reports that the Philippine National Police has taken great exemption to a scene in this week’s episodes of “Ang Probinsyano,” particularly a scene from Monday, July 15, where a female PNP operative of the in-universe “Task Force Agila” is raped by her crime syndicate captors while still in uniform. The following Tuesday, July 16, the PNP issued a statement declaring that they, under advice from their own personnel and concerned viewers, will review their agreement with ABS-CBN on allowing the network to garb the characters of its show with authentically-replicated police uniforms under real PNP supervision, a provision put in place from the last controversy the tele-serye caused.
Cordial cooperation between ABS-CBN and the PNP on making “Ang Probinsyano” first soured significantly last year, with the show’s then-ongoing plot arc of a corrupt presidency overseeing organized crime operated and protected by corrupt PNP leadership and police officers. The national police agency warned of possible charges if the network did not stop over-emphasizing this plot point. At the time, show protagonist Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) was working as a vigilante with former populist rebels, well-meaning gang members and disillusioned officers in his group. The arc ended with democracy restored and the vigilante team being recruited into the police force.
The female police officer being sexually abused in the Monday episode of “Ang Probinsyano” was fortunately rescued by Cardo as of the Tuesday telecast. But that July 16 episode according to ABS-CBN News got its own share of viral trending when Cardo, finally facing the current arc villain, the criminally insane mass murder and terrorist mastermind Bungo (Baron Geisler), was physically overpowered and repeatedly stabbed and shot by the antagonist as vengeance for his brother’s death at the hands of Cardo’s long-deceased twin. Speculation on Cardo’s status is spoiled by the fact that Martin was featured in social media with Judy Ann Santos, who will play a new recurring character.
PLTCOL Kimberly Molitas, Deputy Spokesperson for the PNP, noted the possibility of the agency revoking the memorandum with ABS-CBN if the depicted violation was judged as severe, but it is most likely that the network can assuage police protests on its production as before. This outcome would be further popular proof that “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” now on its 7th season on an indefinite extension, could continue airing for years more.
Image courtesy of InterAksyon