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    ABS-CBN apologizes after Butuan solon complains against "A Soldier's Heart"

    MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN has issued their official statement following a complaint from a lawmaker against the newest primetime teleserye "A Soldier's Heart."

    Gerald Anderson and Elmo Magallona star in the primetime drama 'A Soldier’s Heart'
    Gerald Anderson and Elmo Magallona star in the primetime drama 'A Soldier’s Heart' | Photo Credit: ABS-CBN

    The TV network apologized to Agusan Del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun and Butuanons who felt offended about their show's depiction of their city. Fortun had earlier issued a complaint saying the show had "unreal depiction" of Butuan City.

    An excerpt of Fortun's statement reads, "As a Butuanon who was born and raised in a city that was and has never been known to be a hub of extremism and terrorism, I am dismayed by the portrayal of Butuan as a hotbed of chaos."

    One of the scenes in the show, which premiered on Monday, features a bombing incident in Butuan.

    ABS-CBN responded and apologized for those who felt offended. The statement reads, "ABS-CBN would like to apologize to Agusan Del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun and the people of Butuan City if the scenes in the TV series ‘A Soldier’s Heart’ have offended them. While the incident portrayed in the series was fictitious, there was mention of the city name.”

    “We would like to assure them that there was no deliberate intention to portray Butuan City negatively in the show. We acknowledge that Butuan is one of the most beautiful and peaceful cities in the country,” it added.

    Rep. Fortun's full statement:

    As a Butuanon who was born and raised in a city that was and has never been known to be a hub of extremism and terrorism, I am dismayed by the portrayal of Butuan as a hotbed of chaos.

    The depiction is not only unrealistic, but it is also offensive because it is destroying the collective efforts of the people of Butuan to promote the Home of the Balangays as a tourist destination for history and culture and a hub of opportunities.

    I urge ABS-CBN to immediately air an appropriate disclaimer, review and reconsider the content and story elements of the teleseryes in order not to further bismirch the reputation of our historic city.

    Better still, as partial recompense for the damage this imprudence may have caused Butuan and its people, we implore upon them to do depict the real Butuan and feature stories about it in their news and public affairs programs.

    We encourage you to send your team over and our public information and tourism offices shall be most willing to show them around so they can see and experience for themselves the beauty of Butuan. They might just love coming back. The lessons of "Bagani" should have taught them to be more circumspect and sensitive.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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