ABS-CBN to PNP: FPJ's Ang Probinsyano is fictional

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Actor Coco Martin plays police officer Cardo Dalisay in FPJ's Ang Probinsyano.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) — Broadcast network ABS-CBN issued a statement Wednesday to remind people that its popular police drama FPJ's Ang Probinsyano is a work of fiction.

This comes on the heels of a report from the government-run Philippine News Agency on how the country's top cop, Director General Oscar Albayalde, cried foul about how the police are portrayed in the show. The report said Albayalde plans to write to the Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTCRB) and the drama's producer to give his comments.

"'FPJ's Ang Probinsyano' assures the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the characters, places, and incidents in the program are purely fictitious as stated in the disclaimer aired at the start of the show every night. There is no intention to smear the reputation of any organization or portray any person in a negative light," the network said in a statement.

ABS-CBN added that the main character, Cardo Dalisay (played by Coco Martin), is a good policeman who is dedicated to saving the people.

"As in the past years, 'FPJAP' has highlighted that good shall always triumph over evil and has shared valuable lessons and family values that have resonated with viewers," the network said.

Martin himself echoed the network's statement, posting on Instagram the show's disclaimer and title card.

The current story arc is about the attempt of the Vice President-turned-President, in cahoots with his appointed Chief of Police, to take over the government after they assassinated the former President.

Running for more than two years, the series has previously tackled the issues of drugs, rebellion and prostitution.

Unfair portrayal?

But Senator Grace Poe, daughter of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. who starred in the 1997 Ang Probinsyano film, noted that the police were not the only antagonists in the TV show which was based on her father's movie.

"There are antagonists in the story, which did not only include the police, but many others. Pwede natin sabihin na 'bato-bato sa langit, tamaan ay 'wag magalit,'" Poe said Friday in a statement.

"But let's look at the bigger picture of the entire plot. And, that is, despite the wrongdoings happening around us, there are cops like Cardo, and his team, who will always fight for what is right and just," she said.

However, Senator Ping Lacson, a former police chief, said that while he found some aspects of the TV show realistic, he also called the portrayal of the police in the show "unfair."

"'Wag niyo naman masiyadong pasamain 'yung Chief PNP kasi nagpipilit na nga sila to uplift 'yung morale ng mga tao, 'yung kanilang credibility," Lacson said Thursday during a Kapihan sa Senado forum.

[Translation: Don't soil the image of the Chief PNP too much because they are trying their best to uplift policemen's morale and their credibility.]

"Marami rin namang mabuting nagawa 'yung PNP, especially 'yung leadership, especially now," he said.

[Translation: The PNP has also done many good things, especially the leadership, especially now.]

Lacson added that Ang Probinsyano may have violated the law in using police uniforms as a costume for its police characters.

He said the show should have altered the uniforms worn by characters for it not to be identical with the uniforms worn by real life policemen.

Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code prohibits the public and improper use of insignias, uniforms or dress of an office of which a person is not a member of.

READ: AFP to file charges vs. activist over use of military garb

Lacson also said he supports Albayalde's move to write to the MTRCB and the producers and advised him to have a dialogue with the show's staff.

CNN Philippines Multi-platform Writer Xave Gregorio contributed to this report.