DAR chief: Dela Pazes had baseball bats and bladed weapons

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2009 12:21 PM | Updated as of Jan 03 2009 08:24 PM

Agrarian Secretary Nasser Pangandaman Sr. confirmed Saturday that his son’s bodyguards pulled out their guns during the brawl at a golf club in Antipolo City last December 26, but only to defend their boss against men with clubs and bladed weapons.

Pangandaman said that during the second brawling incident that took place at the Valley Gold and Country Club’s clubhouse, the 56-year-old dela Paz’s wife and some relatives arrived with baseball bats and bladed weapons.

“May nagdatingan, ang kanyang mga asawa at mga paryentes may dalang panaksak at baseball bats,” the agrarian secretary said, adding that other members of the golf club, who were taking their break at the club house, can attest to his claim.

He said that instinctively, the armed bodyguards of his son, Nasser Jr., did their job of protecting their boss.

Asked why his son’s bodyguards were able to enter the golf club with guns, Pangandaman said it is only normal for bodyguards to carry their firearms.

He added that the “armed” relatives of the dela Pazes were prevented by the golf club’s security guard from entering the clubhouse.

Unforgettable scene for Bambee

On Friday, Delfin’s daughter Bambee, told ABS-CBN’s morning show, Umagang Kay Ganda, that she will not forget the scene when his father was being dragged by his feet by one of his brawlers.

Bambee said one of the brawlers floored his father and dragged him by his feet. While being dragged around, she said his father was also being stomped by one of the brawlers.

She and her brother, Bino, said there were about seven people involved in the mauling.

The brawling issue started when Bambee posted the incident in her blog Vicissitude.

“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,” Bambee said in her blog.

She said the Masiu City mayor punched his father during a heated argument over a simple golf rules misunderstanding.

“His flightmates, maybe 2 or 3 of them, rush to his aid and beat up my father,” she added.

She said the same group followed them at the clubhouse and mauled his father and brother again.

‘Dela Paz started the fight’

Pangandaman denied that his sons started the fight. He said it was dela Paz who raised his voice first and stuck his umbrella to his son’s body.

He said his other son, Hussein, went to his brother’s rescue because dela Paz kept on hitting the mayor with his umbrella.

The secretary insisted that his family has never been involved in a brawl in the past and it was the first time he got involved in a violent confrontation in a golf club.

He said instead of judging his family, their critics should ask around the golf club members. He said their critics should also ask about dela Paz’s reputation at the golf club.

“Tanungin rin po siguro nila iyong ibang miyembro ng Valley Golf kung ano po si Mr. Dela Paz,” Pangandaman said.

Appeal to bloggers

Since Bambee’s blog, the story about the incident in the golf club spread through the Internet.

Bloggers condemned and some even put up a signature campaign for Pangandaman’s resignation.

Pangandaman said his family is hurting because of the bad picture being painted on his name and family.

He appealed to bloggers to stop accusing them on the Web. The secretary even warned bloggers against karma.

“I appeal to the bloggers to stop this. They also have their families, they have parents and siblings. Our family is already hurting. I hope this doesn’t happen to you (bloggers),” the secretary said.

Let’s meet in court

The dela Paz family on Friday said their lawyers were still collating documents before filing a formal complaint against the Pangandamans.

Dela Paz said their lawyers told them that they should be meticulous in filing the “high profile” case.

Pangandaman, for his part, said there are several witnesses who can belie the dela Pazes’ allegations.

He said his sons are also preparing to file counter-charges against dela Paz.