Dela Paz-Pangandaman Incident – My Take

Regarding the now famous Dela Paz-Pangandamanan incident, am trying to understand better what really happened. First, let me quote the INITIAL testimonies of both parties.

Why the initial testimonies? Because these were the “freshest” testimonies, untainted by other “thoughts”.

‘Bambee Dela Paz’s Testimony’
Here is Bambee’s testimony, as posted on her blog last December 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.

This is a golf course. I have been a golfer all my life, and I have never seen anything like this. NOTHING. This is hard to comprehend. And it happened to my own father and my own brother too. Right in front of my eyes.

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. One of the guys says that they’re with the flight in front of us. (So what? That doesn’t give them the right to just pass us WITHOUT asking.) So, we go to the 5th hole. The flight behind us catches up with us, and asks us what caused the hold up. We said that this flight just slipped in front of our flight. So we complained to the marshall. We play the 5th hole and walk towards the next hole, where there is a teehouse, and both the flights in front of us were there, talking with the marshall. 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 flightmates, 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!” And believe me, I had no idea who this person was. But now I know. He’s the person who, with 4 other men, beat up my 56-year-old father and my 14-year-old brother. He’s the person who sacks a pleading 14-year-old kid in the face. He’s a person who, I am sure, is gonna rot in hell.

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. WHAT THE HELL?! So, my brother’s bad for defending his father?!

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. He was CRYING, for crissakes. But no. 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.

Sounds like something out of a movie, doesn’t it? But this is what happened. TODAY. The day after Christmas. To my family. And all I ask for is JUSTICE. 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. Because, we were against the SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM and the MAYOR OF MASIU CITY, LANAO DEL SUR. They were all scared.

The world has gone crazy. Two politicians beat up a defenseless 56-year-old father and his 14-year-old son. At a golf course. I swear to God, I thought golfers were decent people. You would think politicians were decent people. I guess not. I guess they gang up on 56-year-old men and beat up pleading 14-year-old kids.

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.

‘The Pangandaman’s Testimony’
Now here is the Pangandaman’s recollection of the incident, as narrated to a reporter, and printed about two days after Bambee posted on her blog, on December 28, 2008:

MANILA, Philippines–Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman on Sunday gave a different version of what happened last Friday on an Antipolo golf course, refuting the allegation that his son and bodyguards beat up a 14-year-old boy and his father.

He said Delfin de la Paz’ claim that Nasser Pangandaman Jr., mayor of Masiu, Lanao del Sur, and his golfing companions mauled De La Paz and his teenage son over an argument was a complete reversal of the incident at the Valley Golf and Country Club.

Pangandaman said it was actually De La Paz who first attacked Nasser Jr. by hitting him with an umbrella, and was later helped along by his young son Bino, prompting Nasser and his brother Hussein to retaliate.

“There really was a brawl. They did punch each other, but it was De La Paz who started it,” Pangandaman said in a phone interview.

He said his sons intended to press counter-charges of physical injuries against De La Paz, who filed a complaint against the Pangandamans with the Antipolo police Friday.

Pangandaman added that he would consult his lawyer about the possible filing of a libel case against De La Paz in regard to reports quoting him as saying that that the secretary had shouted invectives at him during the attack.

He denied shouting at De La Paz, adding that it was actually he who “pacified” them when he saw that his son Hussein had joined the fight. He further denied the presence of his bodyguards, adding that personal security teams were not allowed on the golf course.

Based on his account, the incident occurred when his namesake son, who was running late, joined his companions in a flight at the third hole ahead of the De La Paz family, who complained to a marshal that he had “overtaken them.”

Pangandaman said a marshal then explained to De La Paz that Nasser Jr. did not overtake them and was originally part of the flight of four. (Pangandaman was part of another four-member flight ahead of his son’s).

Then at the eighth hole De La Paz allegedly made his son and daughter Bambee hit the ball, even though the younger Pangandaman was still in the fairway, exposing him to possible injury. “It seemed he was really spoiling for a fight but my son just let it go,” Pangandaman said.

Later, when they were having snacks, Pangandaman said De La Paz suddenly confronted them, shouting invectives and complaining about their slow pace, and allegedly began hitting Nasser Jr. with an umbrella.

He said they came to blows and Nasser’s brother and De La Paz’ son joined in the fight. “I didn’t even know his son was only 14 years old because he looked bigger than me,” Pangandaman said.

Rene Maglanque, one of their companions, corroborated Pangandaman’s story in a Dec. 27 letter to the club management, in which he said De La Paz even shouted “Gaganti ako! Di pa tayo tapos (I’ll get even. We’re not done.”)

Maglanque said De La Paz had even called other members of his family, who arrived later, including “the oldest son carrying a baseball bat, the wife in a duster with a bladed weapon in hand,” but they were blocked by the club security.

De la Paz, 56, previously told reporters 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’ 18-year-old daughter who was with them, said the younger Pangandaman continued to attack even when his brother was already on his knees pleading for him to stop.

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, she said.

‘Breaking Down The Events – From the Dela Paz’s’
Now let me break down the events, based on the above testimonies. Starting with Bambee’s testimony:
– Two golf carts overtake the Dela Paz’s flight without asking for permission
– The people in that flight tees off on the next hole
– The elder Dela Paz goes over to the group, and asks why they did that. The overtaking group says they were part of a group ahead of the Dela Paz
– The Dela Paz complains to the Marshall, and continues play
– The Dela Paz and the overtaking group meets up in a teehouse
– The overtaking group is being talked to by the Marshall
– Nasser Jr. goes over and talks to the elder Dela Paz. An argument ensues. Things heat up, and a fight happens

Analysis:
– The Dela Paz complains to the Marshall about the overtaking group
– The Marshall talks to Nasser Junior Bullshi_. Nasser Junior Bullshi_ gets angry that the Dela Paz complained to the Marshall, and that the Marshall was now telling him about it.
– Nasser Junior Bullshi_ confronts Dela Paz. Things heat up, and ….. the rest is history.

‘Breaking Down The Events – From the Pangandaman’s’
Now, compare the above chain of events, to the one narrated by the Pangandamnyous:
– Nasser Junior Bullshi_’s group overtakes Dela Paz’s group
– The Dela Paz complains to the Marshall
– The Marshall explains to the Dela Paz that it was okay for Nasser Junior Bullshi_’s group to overtake them since they were part of an earlier flight
– The Dela Paz group allegedly hit the ball on the eight hole while Nasser Junior Bullshi_ was still on the fairway (in a later blog by a pathetic wannabe blogger, the person being hit changed to, “an eight year old child”). Nasser Junior Bullshi_, the saint that he is, just ignores the offense
– Later, while having snacks, the elder Dela Paz allegedly confronted the Nassers, shouting invectives at them, complaining about their slow pace, and then started hitting Nasser Junior Bullshi_ with an umbrella
– The elder Dela Paz and Nasser Junior Bullshi_ gets into blows, with Nasser Junior Bullshi_’s brother and Gino Dela Paz joining the fight
– Nasser Senior Bullshi_ claims he was intimidated by the babyfaced Gino Dela Paz
– Nasser Senior Bullshi_’s companion, Maglanque says the elder Dela Paz shouted, “Gaganti ako! Di pa tayo tapos!’
– Maglanque Bullshi_ says another Dela Paz son arrived with a Baseball Bat, and that the elder Dela Paz’s wife arrived with a bladed weapon

Analysis:
– What a pathetic piece of fiction. Son with a baseball bat? Wife with a bladed weapon? Having snacks, then being shouted at, and prodded with an umbrella? Please. It is the kind of story some idiot would make up (and some idiot did).

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