Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Good Round Spoiled

Hope everyone had a Blessed Christmas. I haven’t gotten around to writing an entry lately because the extended holidays have cast a spell on many golfers out here. It’s as if every golfer in the Philippines wants to make-up for all the lost time spent at work and play as much golf in a period of 9 days, a true novena. My wife and I have played 7 rounds of golf in 8 days in 6 different courses.

In a city with 12 million people crammed in 240 square miles, every golf course is an oasis. Here, there are rules and everyone is expected to adhere to a universal code of conduct. I was deeply disturbed by this news item from the Inquirer concerning an incident that occurred the day after Christmas.

MANILA, Philippines—The son of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman and several persons beat up a 14-year-old boy and his father at a golf course in Antipolo on Friday, the victims complained Saturday.

The alleged attackers were identified as Nasser Pangandaman Jr., mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, and his golfing companions and armed bodyguards. The victims, Delfin de la Paz and his family, said the Agrarian Reform secretary witnessed the incident at the Valley Golf Club but did not stop his son and their bodyguards from attacking the victims.

De la Paz filed the complaint immediately after the incident on Friday with the Antipolo police, who said the charges, including child abuse, would be filed on Monday.

Breach of etiquette
De la Paz said the incident started when the Pangandamans broke golf etiquette by playing out of turn and over-taking the De la Paz family at the South Course of the Valley Golf and Country Club.

In an interview, De la Paz, 56, said he and his two children—daughter Bambee, 18, and son Bino, 14—were playing golf and were on Hole No. 3 when two golf carts bearing the Pangandamans and their friends overtook them.

Aside from the Pangandamans, the group also included Paysal Abdulaa, Mohammed Hussein, Abdan Pacasuna, Rene Maglaque and Arnel Astacio.

Dela Paz said he complained to the marshal and when the two groups caught up with each other at the tee house on hole No. 5, an altercation ensued.

De la Paz said that at the height of the altercation, Nasser Jr. suddenly attacked him and his son, punching and kicking them and shouting: “Hindi mo ba ako nakikilala? (Don’t you know me?)”

Bambee de la Paz, who witnessed everything, said the younger Pangandaman continued to attack even when his brother was already on his knees pleading for him to stop.

Bambee, in an e-mail to friends, said they decided to stop playing and retreated to the clubhouse to seek medical attention, but their attackers followed them there. This time joined by their bodyguards, the Pangandaman group again attacked father and son. Bambee said two of the mayor’s bodyguards even pulled out their guns.

She said that while Secretary Pangandaman did not participate in the attacks, he did not lift a finger to stop his son and his companions from beating the victims. None of the golf club’s security guards and managers tried to stop the beating.

‘Golfers are decent’
Dela Paz’s 14 year-old boy suffered various facial, head and back injuries due to the blows he received.

“This is a golf course. I have been a golfer all my life and I have never seen anything like this,” Bambee said. “And I though golfers were decent people. You would think politicians were decent people. I guess not.”

Bambee and Bino de la Paz are both outstanding junior golfers. Bambee is on vacation from the University of Cincinnati where she is a golf scholar. Bino is one of the top golfers in his age group.

Efforts to reach Secretary Pangandaman for comment yesterday proved fruitless. His cell phone was off. The public information officer of the Department of Agrarian Reform promised to call the Inquirer as soon as he got in touch with the secretary but he had not done so at press time Saturday.

Bambee De La Paz gave her own account of the horrific tale that validates the general impression of power-drunk politicians accustomed to having their way around other citizens. This episode proves the primitive conditions that continue to prevail in the Philippines. This simply does not take place in civilized societies. Even Tony Soprano would have shown more finesse.

I certainly hope that justice will prevail and the guilty will be punished. Look how many years in prison OJ Simpson will have to spend because members of his group brandished weapons.

If an investigation establishes that the cabinet secretary was indeed present while battery and assault were being committed, then Gloria Arroyo must fire this person immediately and swift justice meted out to the guilty individuals involved.


Pedestrian Observer GB said...

Junior Nasser gives all apes a bad rap........ definitely no excuse even for a pea brained maniac to beat up people for complaining over their uncouth golf etiquette infractions.

azron said...

Unfortunately these young men, like Sadaam Hussein's sons, will think that they can be as ruthess as they wish because no one will condemn and hold them accountable!

Anonymous said...

This is when you wish vigilantes go into action. No one can stop these abusive sons of bitches who feel they are gods. One thing that still is very backward with Filipinos. Americans may be disrespectful, but there is also less abuse of authority.

jonathan castaneda said...

After the Dela Pazes had aired out in news blitzkrieg their side of the story, the Pangandamans have come out with a knee-jerk rejoinder on the issue --- claiming it was the senior Dela Paz or the daughter who started the melee by hitting one of the Pangandamans with a golf umbrella... Anyone with a common sense wouldn't dare do such provocation against a person, much less a group of male (factors), surrounded by an omnipresent, intimidating cordon of pea-sized-brain and fully-armed bodyguards --- whose purpose is to rabidly, blindly serve their handlers who feed them, and to do so regardless of consequences and at all costs since they anyway shall be covered with the extended mantle of impunity. That's how it operates here in this Banana Republic. The people involved in the fracas are neither idiots nor weaklings, regardless of how they overnight image themselves as the victims. Stop playing possum, all of you - media practitioners and bloggers included. They are no strangers to pelf, power and influence either not to immediately distinguish their own kind. The filthy rich jealously, immediately dislike in their conceited viewpoint of exclusive, monopolized self-importance their own kind. Self-love breeds contempt against all others. I also have second thoughts entertaining the side-track comments of the Pangandamans that the Dela Pazes "acted as though they owned the territory (Valley Golf)." The bone of contention was but a "few minutes of ownership" of "privilege playing rights" of Hole Number Three at the time of the dispute --- where the Dela Pazes contend that it was theirs in physical possession of at the time; while the Pangandamans insisted it was theirs in the first place as they were merely lagging behind a group that was already playing holes far in advance. Both parties argued for preference and priority --- with or without advertence to Golf Manual 101. That was the deal breaker that broke the spirit of the Holidays. "Love of self, amor propio, ako muna bago kayo." Can't and don't blame anyone --- people who do so get crucified for doing right. Flashbacks of the Rolito Go parking slot shooting and that of the similar Loyola Cemetery parking fight episode. What I am certain of is that somebody burst a short fuse, and one act of intemperance and inconsideration paved the way for more violence and arrogance. The circus is now in town. The parties involved were supposed to play the gentleman's game of golf --- but, like overgrown brats as they all are really, did some other silly, childish thing that has found them now in the limelight of exchanging brickbats in full view of the nation. Regardless against the backdrop of what is supposed to be the Happy Holidays. I leave you to elevate your love of self in full view of the amused public. We can use some pointers for life. Be that as it may, lessons shall be learned the hard and painful way for all parties concerned. Good luck on this episode where only the devil gets to win! - JVC

Ralph said...

I certainly am outraged by the actions (or inaction) of the DAR secretary and his sons. As government officials they should exercise utmost restraint when something like this happens. Having said that though it would be interesting to find out what 3rd party witnesses (caddies, marshalls, etc.) have to say as to what really occurred and how events transpired. Whenever altercations like this happen, more often than not it takes 2 to tango and in the heat of the moment all sensibilities are thrown out the door.

pulis na pogi said...

in this incident, the dela Pazes were first given attention by the media and add that to the fact the natural tendency of many filipinos (including me) to hold prejudice against moros, my first reaction is anger at the pangandaman.

and i am still angry at them up to this moment. secretary and mayor pangandaman should have known better and should have acted with prudence no matter and however they were provoked. they are no ordinary citizens but persons vested with responsibility by the people.

however, i now tend to give credence to the story of the pangandamans after my friend who happens to be a member of valley golf related his brush with the dela Pazes. and so the story goes this way:

shortly before christmas, he was practicing his putting in one of the three putting greens in vally golf. in the other putting green is bambee de la Paz also practicing putting. mind you, this family of dela pazes are terrific golf players! all of a sudden, bambee, together with her mother fanning herself like crazy, joined my friend in his putting green, stroking the house balls here and there, oblivious to the presence of my friend. golf etiquette 101: this is not beig courteous. the same issue they used against the pangandamans. fortunately my friend is no pangandaman and so the scandal happend days later and not involved my friend. after around 30 minutes of pure arrogance and “i am a champion and who are you” attitude from bambee, she and her mother left my friend in the practice green with the 12 house balls strewn all around. etiquette 101 again: this is, again, not being couteous. the ball holders clearly bore the sign “replace after use.”

after i heard this story of my friend, he and i thought, well, the arrogant dela Pazes met their match in the equally arrogant pangandamans.

now, we are angry at all of them for bringing their lies to the public and wasting our time!

Anonymous said... is really difficult to find a wise honest judge and a judicial justice fair in its dispensation...reading about this insignificant irrelervant you pause as how to judge, justly..
p.s...just whispered was that the dela Pazes were the Pangandamans of Antipolo at one time...politically wise...

Anonymous said...

life is 5% given situationer, 95% is how you react to the situation. This rule applies to either of the family (pangandaman and delapaz).
They should have reacted accordingly to the situation. I heard an amicable $ettlement is already on hand bet. the 2 families. Good for them, thanks for the "circus".

antonio said...

Clash of ego ang nangyari.. isang mayaman at isang politico…. pang maykaya lang ang golf e di ba… status symbol…. pati anak ni dela paz e naglalaro… gentleman’s game daw ang golf…PWE! ang asal ng mga yan e hoodlum…pare-pareho kayo.
imbes na pairalin ang pasensya at tumawag ng marshall... sportman ba
ang mga yan? binaboy lang ang spirit of golf...

yang mga pulitikong mga yan, ang yayabang pati mga bodyguards… e sineswelduhan lang naman ng taumbayan…akala mo na kung sino.. idamay niyo pa yang mga pulis, militar, konsehal at pati hamak na barangay tanod…
Kaya lang kung iisipin, yang mga dela Paz e mayaman din kasi(kaya afford maggolf)…tinamaan ang mga ego sa paglalaro ng golf due to violation of rules… away ng mga mayayabang at may ere…nagpa-awa effect din na kesyo matanda na yung tatay… tapos yung anak e may hangin din sa ulo..nakikita naman sa pagsasalita e.. paingles-ingles...

gaya sa badminton sa corporate, daming mayabang din(gaya ng duktor na ulol na naglalaro sa centro-inihian ko sasakyan mo gago!) at ngayon lang yata nakapaglaro ng competitive game… hindi nakakaintindi ng pagkatalo or sportsmanship…mga PWE!!!

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