The Philippine National Police (PNP) said today that they will review their existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with media company ABS-CBN after netizens complained about a rape scene in last night’s episode of the hit show Ang Probinsyano.
In the controversial episode, a group of gangsters led by the character Bungo (Baron Geisler) sexually assault a female police officer. In the video posted by ABS-CBN in the show’s Facebook page, the police officer is shown being held down by two goons while Bungo violates her.
In another scene, Bungo is shown sexually harassing another female cop, who pleads tearfully at him to stop.
The PNP took to twitter to assure its supporters that they will look into the scene.
They were replying to a netizen using the handle @rygranado who wrote, “Dear FPJ Ang Probinsyano, do you take policewomen as a joke? If you have nothing to add to your storyline, better end it.”
The PNP responded to this tweet and wrote, “We will review mam. Rest assured that we will look into this.”
— PNP Tweets (@PNPhotline) July 16, 2019
In a follow-up tweet sent to another netizen, the PNP said that they will review the MOU (referred to as a Memorandum of Agreement) that high-ranking PNP officers signed with ABS-CBN.
We will also review the existing Memorandum of Agreement with @ABSCBN
— PNP Tweets (@PNPhotline) July 16, 2019
In November 2018, the PNP signed an MOU with ABS-CBN which gives the network permission to use police uniforms, facilities, and equipment in the production of Ang Probinsyano.
The agreement was signed when the PNP and ABS-CBN ironed out their differences a few days after PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde blasted the show for what he said was its unfair portrayal of cops.
The truce between the two organization may not last for long because the PNP, through its Deputy Spokesperson Lt. Col. Kimberly Molitas, said today that they might revoke the agreement because of the controversial rape scene.
“In light of the concern raised by netizens and police officers on Ang Probinsyano scene where policewomen in uniform were being harassed and raped, we will talk to the production staff of ABS-CBN and look at possible violation of our existing Memorandum of Understanding,” Molitas said in a statement sent to The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“Depending on the extent of the violation, we may warn them or rescind the said MOU,” she added.
Online, other netizens expressed great discomfort over the rape scene.
@FilthPh said the show’s content is “insensitive” and “problematic.”
Why is #AngProbinsyano so insensitive with its content? It’s so problematic
— ReadforFilthPH (@FilthPh) July 15, 2019
“[T]oo many disturbing scenes on Ang Probinsyano. [M]any of these scenes could be triggering, but instead of reducing rape/abuse scenes, they fckng display it on national tv at a time when kids could be watching,” wrote @rudosadeline.
too many disturbing scenes on ang probinsyano. many of these scenes could be triggering, but instead of reducing rape/abuse scenes, they fckng display it on national tv at a time when kids could be watching.
— zix (@rudosadeline) July 16, 2019
“I watched Ang Probisyano last night and it disturbed me that the theme and storyline are getting more violent. If this plot keeps on going, can we just move the show in (sic) a different time slot? Coz bruh we have children watching the show,” wrote @adleirockzassi.
Okay. So I watched Ang Probisyano last night and it disturbed me that the theme and story line are getting more violent. If this plot keeps on going, can we just move the show in a different time slot? Coz bruh we have children watching the show#AngProbinsyano
— DaChubss (@adleirockzassi) July 16, 2019
Over on the show’s Facebook page, Orland De Leon complained, “What you’re showing is too much! You should be more sensitive to the feelings of your viewers! It’s not good to show the rape and violation of women! A lot of children look forward to your show each night! Please, show what is good for most people.”
The show has been on air since 2015, making it one of the longest-running soap operas in the Philippines. It’s such a ratings powerhouse that several competing shows from rival network GMA-7 have folded up, including Victor Magtanggol which starred popular actor Alden Richards. It’s also faring better in the ratings game than its current competitor Sahaya, which stars Bianca Umali.
What do you think of the controversial scene? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.