The greatest ‘kontrabidas’ in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano worthy of our praises – and hate

In his seven years of fighting for the oppressed and the country, Cardo Dalisay (Coco Martin) had the best collection of iconic ‘kontrabidas’ that added terror and thrill to his missions. From drug lords to rotten politicians, notorious serial killers, a psychopathic romantic rival, and even to the likes of dangerous women, he has faced all kinds of foes, and survived them all.

These bad guys might have triggered our ‘gigil’ but the actors behind them earned our respect and praises. After all, even the most terrifying, beastly role will never stand on its own unless taken diligently by an effective actor.

Kapamilya Toplist gives props to these ‘great villains’ who made Cardo’s life one hell of a ride in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

When the teleserye commenced in 2015, Cardo was pitted against numerous opponents as a stalwart cop, but his ultimate nemesis was the Tuazon family – Tomas (Albert Martinez), his father-in-law Don Emilio (Eddie Garcia), and son Joaquin (Arjo Atayde). These men were drug lords and involved in human trafficking and illegal gambling. The war between Cardo’s family and the Tuazons spanned three generations.

Albert’s character was loved by many for his philanthropic deeds but wicked behind his courteous demeanor. We’d like to say the actor’s strong charisma was a significant element in painting his own brand of villainy. Nobody thought the seemingly perfect family man has rotten morals, thus he was able to manipulate Cardo. 

We can therefore say that Joaquin’s wickedness ran in the blood, or that he got it from his pops. He joined the police force to protect their business by taking investigations on a detour, sparking off a workplace rivalry with Cardo. And, we will never forget Joaquin gatecrashing Cardo and Alyana (Yassi Pressman)’s wedding to abduct the latter as revenge.

Cardo’s twin brother Ador was killed by Joaquin; their father Pablo (Tonton Gutierrez), by Don Emilio. Legendary actor Eddie Garcia owned his character, of course, as if its vile deeds were knitted to his own flesh. He also peppered the character with his trademark hateful yet comical one-liners, making Don Emilio truly a standout among the bad guys in the series. We still remember his amusing confrontations with Cardo to this day.

Cardo had a challenging time defeating Don Emilio, who was also resurrected twice in the story.

Before he was able to topple the Tuazons down, Cardo faced numerous criminals as part of his police work. One of them was Richard Yap’s Mr. Tang, involved in drugs and human trafficking, and who once thought he killed Cardo with a single shot. Well, at the time, nobody knew that even a barrage of bullets and the strongest explosions won’t delete Cardo from the earth.

Cesar Montano as Hector was no easy opponent. Cardo’s classmate during their SAF training, Hector was a sharpshooter and skilled in martial arts and street fighting. All these skills gave Cardo a hard time, especially during their dangerous face-off on the rooftop of an old building. But in the end, they chose to soothe the bad blood between them.

Christopher de Leon’s appearance in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano exuded star power, especially since he was accompanied by Anne Curtis, who played his daughter Trina. Unlike Trina who added a spark of romance to Cardo’s world, Michael added threats. He was revealed as a gun-smuggling syndicate operator.

Paulo Avelino would also rank high among Cardo’s most remarkable adversaries in Season 1 with his terrifying portrayal of vengeful psychopathic killer, Eric. It must be a tough job switching between two personas – Eric disguised as a mentally challenged fan to get near Cardo through Alyana – but Paulo managed to deliver.

Introducing a new chapter, with a plot hinged on politics and terrorism, Cardo traded his simple life as a jeepney driver to train for SAF, bent on avenging his son Ricky Boy’s death. He first went undercover at the Pulang Araw camp where he met Jhong Hilario’s Homer aka Alakdan, whose mortal sins include terror bombing which caused Ricky Boy’s demise, and shooting Cardo during a SAF encounter that caused the latter’s body to float on the water and reach the enemies’ camp. That shot ultimately changed the course of Cardo’s mission. But, in the end, Alakdan was killed by Cardo’s bullet landing on his forehead.  

Another rebel guy named Tanggol played by Joross Gamboa tried to get rid of our hero. Although the character wasn’t that physically strong, Joross made it appear completely arrogant and annoying, thus eliciting viewers’ hatred.

From the political arc, Edu Manzano as Vice President Lucas Cabrera was a huge thorn in Cardo’s flesh. Lucas had strong lust for power and did everything to attain it. Not only did he widen corruption in the government but he also ordered the killing of President Oscar (Rowell Santiago)’s family and dragged innocent people into his devilry.

Marco Cabrera portrayed by JC Santos had psychopathic tendencies triggered when he failed to snatch Alyana from Cardo, although he was really close to winning her heart.

Some of these ‘kontrabidas’ had equally evil sidekicks. For Lucas, apart from his son Marco, he also recruited the felonious Senator Mateo (Joko Diaz) for his team. Renato Hipolito (John Arcilla) had the sinister Jacob (Marc Abaya) while Lily (Lorna Tolentino) had the Black Ops captain Albert de Vela (Geoff Eigenmann).

Jacob was a drug lord who enlisted the help of then-powerless Renato to grow his empire. Albert had a huge offense to pay for – shooting Alyana during Black Ops’ encounter with the Agilas. These men proved themselves as immoral as their bosses.

Baron Geisler as Dante aka Bungo embodied what his name symbolizes – danger. The actor managed to make Bungo a remarkable foe with his sinister stares and laughter and creepy imaginary alliance with the devil. Dante’s burning wrath stemmed from his brother’s death under a police operation spearheaded by Ador. To prove that he’s a formidable enemy, he was able to outsmart Cardo in a raid and stab him thrice. We remember how terrifying it felt thinking about the possibility of Cardo dying at the time.

Every hero has a weakness. In Cardo’s case, we can say his wife Alyana was his kryptonite. Richard Gutierrez as Lito was close to stealing Alyana since they had a romantic past, making him one of the biggest threats to Cardo. Apart from being a romantic rival, Richard was everything we didn’t expect in the series. He was also a drug syndicate leader and a mad killer, and he delivered a heart-pumping final showdown with Cardo. 

In the middle part of the story, Coco started to clash with more senior actors like Tirso Cruz III as Arturo. Although not the killer type of a kontrabida, Art was smart, and that alone made him a threat. He had calculated strategies. He knew how to get the right tools to achieve his political ambition.

To mark its 6th year in 2021, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano introduced a fresh story arc with new characters including John Estrada’s Armando, a farmer who turned into an assassin. John angered viewers for killing Jaime Fabregas’ beloved character Lolo Delfin, and for selling out the Agilas to the authorities. It’s no surprise his comeuppance received wild reactions on social media. 

One of the teleserye’s most enduring antagonists was Lorna Tolentino’s Lily Ann Cortez-Hidalgo. She started as Lucas Cabrera’s baglady, then, she slowly infiltrated the palace with her schemes, and charm that stole the heart of President Oscar. Soon, she stole the palace and the country’s wealth. Lily changed history – in a bad way – as a drug syndicate leader and the most corrupt and ambitious First Lady that manipulated the entire nation.

One final enemy remains standing – John Arcilla as Renato Hipolito. He started as a seemingly righteous officer of the National Military Intelligence Group (NMIG) but was later on revealed as a former Pulang Araw member. Power can be an uncontrollable drug, as depicted by Renato, the most wanted criminal in the country.

If Armando and Lily had cruel deaths, then, we can’t wait to see the punishment Cardo has for Renato.

Don’t miss FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano’s “Pambansang Pagtatapos” on Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z.