POSTSCRIPT / January 6, 2009 / Tuesday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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And now, the side of Pangandamans

OTHER SIDE: Without passing judgment, Postscript ran last Jan. 1 the account of Bambee dela Paz of a brawl at a golf club in Antipolo where her family members fought with those of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman.

For balance, we now give you the other side written by Bai Jodi Pangandaman Diron-Dimaporo, also shortened to fit space:

On Dec. 26, 2008, the group of Secretary Pangandaman registered at the Valley Golf Country Club to play. Since there were eight of them, they divided into two flights, with the secretary and his companions on the first flight, and Hussein, Nasser Jr. and two others on the second. Hussein’s eight-year-old son Angelo tagged along with the second flight, since no one could watch him at the clubhouse.

Nasser Jr. and his friend Farah Locsin arrived late and followed at Hole No. 4 of the South Course of Valley. It was a convoy of two carts, one was Nasser Jr.’s and the second the marshal’s who was escorting them and the caddies.

Here, Bambee narrated: “My brother and I were playing golf at the South Course of Valley. We were on the 3rd hole, and we see two golf carts going past us, overtaking our flight, and setting up to tee off on the next hole. My dad (Delfin) goes up to them and asks them why they would do that, why they would overtake us without even asking for our permission.”

Delfin dela Paz protested what seemed to be an overtaking of flight. Nasser Jr. explained to him that they did not overtake but simply tried to catch up with their flightmates at Hole No. 4. He added that they, like the Dela Paz’s, had earlier lined up and were already registered at the flight before theirs.

Thinking that things had been cleared up, Dela Paz said, “Okay, kortesiya lang” (“Okay, just seeking courtesy”).

When the flight of Nasser Jr. already played Hole No. 4 and he was still outside of the green trying to pitch his ball in, the flight of Dela Paz — without shouting “Fore!” — hit their shots into the green, almost hitting Hussein.

Surprised, though sensing trouble which they chose to avoid, they allowed the other Dela Paz player to hit his shot so they can peacefully resume and concentrate on their playing. At this point, Nasser Jr.’s caddy took the boy Angelo behind the cart to avoid being hit by balls.

On Hole No. 5, after the second Pangandaman flight hit their drives and before they could hit their second shots, the Dela Paz players again hit their drives without warning. Surprised, the Pangandaman flight wondered why the flight behind them were doing this to them.

After Nasser Jr.’s flight played Hole No. 5 and holed out, they joined Secretary Pangandaman’s flight at the teehouse. The marshal told Nasser Jr. that Dela Paz complained that there were five of them in their group and that they overtook them. Nasser Jr. reiterated what he had already explained to the elder Dela Paz, which he thought was already accepted.

Unconvinced, the elder Dela Paz, obviously agitated, approached Nasser Jr., pointed a finger at him and insisted there were two carts in their flight and that they (Nasser Jr.) overtook them.

This confused Nasser Jr., as he had explained back at Hole No. 4 that they did not do so. He asked in a most respectful manner that he thought that they already had an understanding. Dela Paz at the top of his voice accused Nasser Jr. that he was wrong and shouted profanities at him.

In a calm voice and without revealing that he is the mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, Nasser Jr. respectfully asked Dela Paz why he was raising his voice when they were not arguing. Dela Paz reacted; “Ikaw ang naghahanap ng away!” — while pulling his umbrella. He then thrust the pointed part at the belly of Nasser Jr.

This happened in front of the marshal who tried to intervene, but Dela Paz pressed on. This prompted Nasser Jr.’s older brother Hussein to come to his defense. Dela Paz hit Hussein in the forehead and the two engaged in a fistfight.

Meanwhile, Nasser Jr. tried to prevent the younger Dela Paz’s (Bambee and Bino) from joining the fight but they got away from him and went between their father and Hussein. The Dela Paz siblings held Hussein, preventing him from reaching the elder Dela Paz.

Yet, Bino kept punching Hussein in the face and Bambee from behind kept scratching his face. At one point Dela Paz got a golf club driver to hit Hussein, but companion Rene Maglanque wrested it away. When Hussein turned his back, Bino got a club to attack him, but Nasser Jr. blocked Bino.

Secretary Pangandaman, Maglanque, and another golfer pacified everybody and asked the Dela Paz’s to just leave to prevent further trouble. Dela Paz called someone in his cellphone to come to the clubhouse because they have just had a fight. The Dela Paz’s then left the golf course.

The two Pangandaman flights returned to the clubhouse after 10 minutes. Hussein, nursing a bump in the forehead and scratches on the face and neck, went to the men’s locker room to relieve himself and wash his wounds. But Dela Paz blocked his path and told him in a threatening voice that it was not over between them and that he will take revenge.

Still angry, Hussein asked why they still had not left, when Bino again pleaded not to hurt his 56-year-old father and him, but with fists ready to punch. Hussein engaged in another scuffle with the father and son joined by Bambee, who came from behind, scratching him on his cheek, neck and ear, while tearing his shirt.

The security and other golfers separated them. Dela Paz again shouted invectives at Hussein. Around this time, there was a commotion at the entrance — it was Mrs. Dela Paz and her two sons. The sons had with them baseball bats, and Mrs. Dela Paz, in a house dress (duster), had with her a bladed weapon, all three looking as if ready to assault. Other golfers and security held them off.

Secretary Pangandaman told his sons to leave and the Dela Paz’s to leave also, so no more untoward incident would happen. The Pangandaman’s left through the parking exit, because the Dela Paz family was waiting for them at the clubhouse lobby.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of January 6, 2009)

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