"Really, Año and Albayalde have got better things to do."
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año and Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde are being criticized for their stand on the ABS-CBN telenovela “Ang Probinsyano”
starring Coco Martin.
In a statement last Friday, a subordinate of Año said the DILG was seriously considering legal action and imposing sanctions against the TV show. According to the TV network, the show is getting excellent ratings.
I am not a teleserye fan myself. But I asked around, intrigued about the show that Año says is demoralizing the police force.
I also asked our house helpers if they believe the portrayal of crooked cops and a crooked system can actually cause demoralization.
I got mixed reactions.
Actually, there are two ways of looking at the controversy. First, Año and Albayalde should not be bothered at all by the show because they have many more serious things to think about. The midterm elections are fast approaching, and for some people, elections are a matter of life and death!
I would rather see these two officials go after private armies and loose firearms.
The TV show is nothing but fiction. However, not many people can distinguish fact from fiction.
The late action star Fernando Poe Jr. is perhaps the best example of the point I am driving at. FPJ championed the poor, such that the masa
idolized him and almost made him president of the country. I have been told that in Muslim Mindanao, people would fire at the movie screen if the audience saw Poe being beaten by his enemies.
Senator Grace Poe knows this too well—in fact, she capitalized on her adoptive father’s popularity. She topped the Senate race and in 2016 ranked third in the presidential race.
For lack of education, Filipinos cannot distinguish fact from fiction. And that, to my mind, is the problem with portraying institutions like the police in a bad light.
Still, filing a case against ABS-CBN for its portrayal of the police could constitute a violation of freedom of speech and expression, just as when I say “policemen are crooks and thugs.”
Año and Albayalde should worry about things more important than the demoralization of the police. Really, they have better things to do! Again, things that are better than imposing a fine on security guards for wearing costumes for Christmas—likely upon the orders of the mall owners. I repeat what the Standard’s
editorial said: The sense of justice of the police is enough to make us weep.
* * *
Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio has supported the declaration forged by President Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calling for freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.
In a statement, Carpio stressed that the agreement was consistent with the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that the Philippines has a full 200 miles exclusive economic zone.
Carpio’s statement should be appreciated from a wider perspective—especially in connection with his nomination as the next chief justice to replace Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro who has since retired.
There is speculation that Carpio may not even be appointed to the top post by the President because he is constantly critical of the President’s foreign policy.
Just recently, Carpio rebuffed the President when he said that China is now in possession of the South China Sea with its occupation of some islets and shoals that had been the subject of dispute. But Carpio did not actually rebuff Duterte—he simply clarified what the latter said. Carpio said that in effect, China has less than 8 percent possession of some of the islets and shoals also claimed by the Philippines and that in the South China Sea, there is still freedom of navigation and overflight.
When Carpio contradicts what the President says, he is not attacking him personally—unlike, say, Senator Antonio Trillanes. Carpio’s criticism is based on fact. Thus, Mr. Duterte should not take Carpio’s criticism personally to a point where he would refuse to name Carpio the next chief justice. Carpio is truly deserving of the appointment.
As far as experience, credentials, probity and integrity are concerned, there is no other person for the job than Carpio. Even his colleagues are one on this issue.
* * *
The critics of the Marcoses say former First Lady Imelda Marcos is being given special treatment by the Sandiganbayan that convicted her for graft and corruption—as if the Marcoses have not done anything good for the country.
Imelda is already 89, and her health is deteriorating.
During her time, Imelda made arts and culture flourish. It made many Filipinos proud.
Yes, we should not forget the abuses and atrocities committed during martial law. But we should also not forget the things the Marcoses did for our country.