BY Ellen Tordesillas
Ang Pahayagang Malaya
TWO days after Gloria Arroyo announced the appointment of Nasser Pangandaman as member of the reconstituted government peace panel to negotiate with Muslim rebels, the agrarian reform secretary watched as his mayor-son mauled a 56-year-old golfer and his 14-year-old son at the Valley Country Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City.
While mainstream media was taking a holiday break, the blogging community was in a furious state over the brutality of Arroyo’s adviser as recounted by Bambee de la Paz in her blog (http://vicissitude-decidido.blogspot.com/2008/12/world-is-fucked-up.html) last Dec. 26.
Here are excerpts from De la Paz’s blog entry on Dec. 26, 2008:
“At around 1:30 PM today, at Valley Golf and Country Club, Antipolo City, Mayor Nasser Pangandaman, Jr., Mayor of Masiu City, Lanao del Sur, his father, Secretary Nasser Pangandaman of the Department of Agrarian Reform, and company, beat my defenseless 56-year-old dad and my 14-year-old brother to a pulp because of some stupid misunderstanding on the golf course.
“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 goes up to them and asks them why they would do that, why they would overtake us without even asking for our permission. Golf etiquette 101.
“The mayor of Masiu City, Lanao del Sur talks with my dad. Things get heated up. Voices were raised. But never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever imagine that someone would pull out a punch. Apparently not. He attacks my father. His flight mates, maybe 2 or 3 of them, rush to his aid and beat up my father. My 56-year-old father. My younger brother and I could not just watch. We rushed to break the fight. My younger brother pleads to the mayor to please stop it. To not hurt my dad. To just stop. His words still ring through my head…”Sorry na po, sorry na po…tama na…tama na po…” With his hands in front of his chest in a praying position. PLEADING. The mayor socks him in the face. My brother defended himself. My dad is still on the ground getting clobbered. My brother is the same way. I try to stop the fight, but all I can do is stop one person. There were 4 or 5 of them attacking now.
“Someone breaks up the fight. I thought it was all over. The mayor shouts to his caddy: “Hindi nila kami kilala! Sabihin mo nga sa kanila kung sino ako!”
“I lash out, but my dad held me back. I was screaming my lungs out, shouting to this mayor, telling him about what he had done. I said: “Nakakahiya kayo. Singkwenta’y sais anyos ang tatay ko. And kapatid ko kakatorse anyos. Anong ilalaban nila sayo?”
“The mayor looks at my brother, point to his face, and says, “Tatandaan kita!” And he tells me that my brother has a bad attitude and that I need to watch him.
“We leave. We walk to the clubhouse to file a complaint. My brother asks for a doctor. My dad could barely walk. Their group comes to the clubhouse, sees my brother. Once again my brother pleads, says sorry, and is crying. The relentless mayor still punches him in the face, and then sees my dad and goes after my dad again. Him and his friend pull my dad to the ground, pulls at his feet, and steps on him like he’s dirt. I run to him and try to hold him back, holding him back by his shirt, while this other guy and this girl tries to stop me. She tells me to just stop it. I scream in her face “they’re beating my father up and you want me to stop?!” I pull at his shirt–I don’t let go. All I can see was my dad being trampled on. I didn’t even see my brother getting beat up.
“People pull them away. I get my dad, and I saw my brother. His right ear was bleeding. I freaked out. I told the receptionists to bring my brother to the clinic. I pull my Dad away. People were separating us.
“My Mom and my older brother come. I tell her Bino’s right ear is bleeding. They both look like they could kill. My Dad holds my brother off, I hold off my Mom. When I finally got my Mom under control, my older brother gets away and I hold him off. Two of the mayor’s bodyguards pull out guns. I embraced my brother from the back, just holding him back, crying. The receptionists came to us, crying, hugging me, my Dad, and my Mom, whispering to us to just leave. “Maam, umalis na po kayo, may mga baril sila…Maam…umalis na po kayo please…”
“I am pretty sure the Secretary of DAR did not take part in the fight, but he just watched all this happen. He watched two of his sons, as we figured out, the other guy was his son, too, beat up my father and my 14-year-old brother. He didn’t do anything to stop it. And this person is what now? A cabinet member. A politician.
“The people at Valley Golf did not seem to want to help us. None of the security guards even tried to stop the fight. Right in the clubhouse. I came back after the fight was over and talked to the receptionists. They say they did not see anything. The general manager of Valley Golf would not give us the names of the men who made my brother’s ear bleed. It took him an hour. Maybe even more than that. He seemed to not want to help us.
“Please pray for my Dad, my brother and for my whole family. Please pray that we get justice. Oh God, please, give these people what they deserve.”
Since I don’t have the contact number of Pangandaman, I have been calling Press Secretary Jesus Dureza to get Malacañang’s comment on the issue. No reply to my messages.