After going after popular television series ‘Ang Probinsiyano’ for its alleged unfair and erroneous portrayal of men in uniform, the police turned its focus on a short documentary, which was filming a story on HIV and drugs.
Report said that two men wearing police uniforms who were part of the documentary titled Complexities of ChemSex in Cainta, Rizal was arrested by the police.
The film tackles real-life stories of people affected by HIV and the drug war in the Philippines.
The Cainta police said that the actors had no permit to use the uniforms which they rented from a props shop.
Supt. Pablito Naganag, Cainta, Rizal police chief said the actors were reenacting a scene where police arrest a suspected drug suspect.
According to film producer Faustine Angeles, the documentary was supposed to compete in the ANPUD Short Films Competition in Bangkok, Thailand. It is unclear if it will still participate.
Angeles later posted on his Facebook page on Monday that he hoped the incident will serve as an eye-opener to those who plan to make stories about the drug war in the country.
The two actors were also held for using fake firearms, which police said alarmed the residents.
“No matter how good your intention is as long as the police is (sic) being mentioned or used in your film you are at risk,” he wrote.
“We citizens of this country no longer have the freedom of speech. We can no longer be free to express what we see in our community even in artistic ways which is very saddening.”
Naganag, however, Naganag rejected Angeles claim, saying that “kung meron permit ‘yan pwede pa kaming mag assist.”
In a report by ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda, the two actors were detained at the Cainta police station. They will be charged for violating Article 179 of the Revised Penal Code or the illegal use of the Philippine National Police uniform and badge.
Last week, the PNP and ABS-CBN signed a memorandum of agreement which said that the PNP will allow the network to use its uniform, vehicles, and facilities when shooting its top-rated TV show Ang Probinsyano but only if the show doesn’t tarnish the image of the police force.
Under Article 1799 of Revised Peal Code of the Philippines penalizes any person who shall publicly and improperly make use of insignia, uniforms or dress pertaining to an office not held by such person or to a class of persons of which he is not a member.