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By The Mouse Potato | January 3, 2009
Taken from Yahoo News PH (http://ph.news.yahoo.com/)
GMANews.TV – Monday, December 29
(Updated 8:30 p.m.) MANILA, Philippines – Amid snowballing criticisms over a violent incident that involved a Cabinet member and his son, Malacañang on Monday directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the alleged mauling of two golfers in Antipolo City last Friday.
In a statement, Presidential deputy spokesman Anthony Golez said the DOJ has been given instructions to probe charges that the son of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman and five others beat up a man and his 14-year-old son inside the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City.
Golez assured that the camp of Pangandaman and mauling victims Delfin de la Paz and his 14-year-old son Bino will be given equal treatment before the court.
“The Department of Justice has been directed to investigate the golf course incident and file proper charges against those responsible for any violation of law. The families of Pangandaman and De la Paz will equally have their day in court based on the facts and the law,” Golez said.
Pangandaman’s son and namesake, who is mayor of Masiu town in Lanao del Sur, along with his five bodyguards, allegedly beat up De la Paz and his son after a brief spat on the golf course Friday afternoon.
A report on GMA Weekend Report on Sunday said while the DAR chief did not have a hand in beating up De la Paz and De la Paz’s son, he pointed his finger and threatened De la Paz.
Pangandaman, however, denied that his son and his son’s bodyguards beat up De la Paz and his son, saying it was the alleged victims’ group which challenged Pangandaman’s camp to a fight and was the first to hit the younger Pangandaman.
On Monday, the DAR chief expressed hope that authorities investigating the incident will be able to resolve the issue once and for all.
The DAR chief also apologized for the incident, which he said was caused by a mere “misunderstanding.”
“Bilang isang government official ako ay humihingi ng paumanhin sa nangyari, hindi naman po kagustuhan ng bawat isa ito (As a government official, I am apologizing for the incident, no one wanted this to happen),” said Pangandaman.
Aside from the DOJ investigation, the younger Pangandaman and his bodyguards are also facing physical injuries charges filed by Antipolo police.
In their complaint to the police, De la Paz said he was with his son and 18-year-old daughter Bambi at the golf course when, at around 1 p.m. Friday, the DAR chief and his son overtook them at one of the holes.
This prompted De la Paz to ask a marshal to have them get back in line, but when they were playing at the fifth hole, Pangandaman Jr allegedly voiced impatience with Dela Paz’s slow playing.
De la Paz said the bodyguards of Pangandaman Jr beat him up and his son who tried to pacify the attackers. His daughter also tried to stop the attack, he said.
After the scuffle, De la Paz said he and his children trudged back to the clubhouse but the Pangandamans, with their bodyguards, followed them.
Pangandaman Jr also reportedly poked a finger at De la Paz’s 14-year-old son and said, “tatandaan kita (I will remember you).”
Moreover, when his elder son and wife arrived at the clubhouse with baseball bats, Pangandaman Jr’s bodyguards allegedly drew handguns.
For his part, the younger Pangandaman said he talked with the elder De la Paz in a nice way but the man hit him instead with an umbrella and hurled invectives and twice challenged him to a fight. – GMANews.TV
(This update corrects the earlier story naming Press Secretary Jesus Dureza as the source of the information regarding Malacañang’s order to the DOJ.)