28 December 2008

A Mauling Mayor from Lanao del Sur

Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN's World Tonight
Ever heard of a mauling mayor before? Well, we have one here in our country and he is the mayor of Masiu City, Lanao del Sur - Nasser Pangandaman, Jr.

The victims of his ire and abusive behavior? One of our fellow blogger Bambee from Vicissitude, her 14-year old brother and 56-year father. It all happened last 26 December 2008 at South Course of the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo.

It would have been an even match had the mayor did all of the mauling by himself. It may even border to being a honorable match-up pitting a rich politician who have all the time in the world to get physically fit against an older person and his teenage son. Unfortunately, the mayor do not want to get his hand dirty by himself. He did all the mauling and beating with the help of his golfing companions and armed bodyguards. Can you believe that? It took all these well-armed burly men to take care of a Delfin de la Paz and his son, Bino.

Even the father of the alleged mayor was even there to witness the whole thing and did not do anything to stop it. We are talking here of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary and peace adviser Nasser Pangandaman. No wonder nothing significant is happening to the government's land distribution and peace programs.

Even after the Bino pleaded for the beating on his father to stop, the mayor just would not stop showing an insatiable appetite for violence. According to Bambee,

"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."

When one of the onlookers tried to pacify the mayor and his gang of thugs, Bambee thought this is finally over. However, the abusive mayor just had his motor running and does not want to shift to first gear. Bambee posted,

"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."

If you think the drama ends there, you are badly mistaken. The worst part is about to begin at the clubhouse. Bambee recounted that,

"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."

Bystanders were able to pull both parties off and it was pretty obvious at this point who had the upper hand. Bino's right ear was bleeding. He and his father suffered various facial, head and back injuries. Bambee's older brother and mother who just came in and saw their kin bloodied were not even spared. According to Bambee,

"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."

And where are all the staff and security personnel of the golf course all this time, well, understandably they are all cowering in fear? What is not acceptable though is that NONE of them tried to stop a fight happening right there inside their establishment. Worse part is that they refused to cooperate when asked about the names of the mayor's companions. Are they even aware of the crime that was just committed?

Network news tried to get the side of the Pangandaman's to no avail. Their phones were turned off. Most probably all of those involved are being briefed by their legal advisers to make their stories consistent even if they are unbelievable. What else is new. I can see their motto developing now: "Less talk, less mistake. And when you talk, cover your bases. Even if it is a lie, but you can convince most to believed it, it will eventually become true."

As for Bambee and her family, this blog will support them in anyway possible in their fight for justice. You too can help by blogging about this story and spreading the word about the incident that took place right after Christmas day in 2008.