Public attorney’s office chief complains about inaccuracies in ‘Ang Probinsyano’

Here’s another government official complaining about the hit television show Ang Probinsyano. 

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta today joined the bandwagon by complaining about the show’s wrong interpretation of her agency’s role.

Just a few days ago, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde blasted the ABS-CBN show for what he said was an unfair and inaccurate portrayal of the PNP.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, himself a former PNP chief, agreed with Albayalde and even said that the show’s use of real-looking police uniforms is a violation of the law. 

For her part, Acosta wasn’t happy about last night’s episode which showed the families of people who have vanished (“desaparecidos“) going to the PAO to seek help. Acosta said that it’s actually the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) role to help such victims.

In an interview with radio station DZIQ, she said: “That’s why I don’t understand ‘Ang Probinsyano.’ They said PAO should assist desaparecidos, it should be CHR. Last night people [in the show] were falling in line at the PAO, those whose fathers and spouses were missing. But that’s CHR’s mandate. They have millions in funds for those alleged abuses.”

Obviously, Acosta values accuracy from television shows.

She was also unhappy at how the show used the PAO logo without asking for their permission. 

“They used the [PAO] logo. That’s what Senator Ping was saying, the [unlawful] use of insignia and logo. They didn’t ask for PAO’s permission,” she said.

Acosta might have misheard — Lacson complained about their use of real-looking police uniforms, not the PNP logo.

Anyway, another point that didn’t sit well with Acosta was the show’s portrayal of PAO employees as a bunch of cowards who couldn’t stand up to the president, played in the show by Rowell Santiago.

“The PAO [employees in the show] appear frightened of the president, but I often go against the president [Rodrigo Duterte]. I’m not scared of him because there’s a law that needs to be followed,” she said.

It seems like Acosta has a hard time separating fact from fiction. In fact, each episode of the show explicitly states that it’s a work of fiction.

For those who haven’t seen the show, Ang Probinsyano (literally “The Country Boy”) is about a noble cop named Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin). Originally from the province, he is assigned to Manila where he has to deal with corrupt cops and a dysfunctional national government.

It’s been on-air since 2015 and gets as much as 40 percent in ratings, a far cry from its competitor Victor Magtanggol which only gets 15.2 percent.

Thanks to its success, it has become a pop culture phenomenon. It’s a favorite topic on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit Philippines, and, as it turns out, by the country’s government officials.

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