I did not think that that Valley Golf incident will turn out the way it is heading now. A not-so-simple incident, which might have been minor if not a Cabinet secretary is involved, it escalated into a legal and Internet battle. Charges and counter-charges have been filed, which is normal for powerful and influential people in the Philippines who can easily afford lawyers. And for being powerful the Pangandamans received a big bashing in the Internet, denting their prestige and pride the same way that the pride and prestige of the de la Pazes were dented in the golf course.
Now, what is the bad fall-out of this incident? The Pangandamans have filed criminal libel charges in a court in Lanao del Sur! Now, to those who know Lanao del Sur and the influence of powerful and influential clans there, it is a foregone conclusion that that case will be accepted in the courts there (unless Mrs. Arroyo says otherwise), the case will “prosper” and there is no way a powerful and influential clan will lose a case there unless their opponents are more powerful and influential than they are.
Cases in Morolandia normally does not end in court decisions. Courts there almost always have vacancies. Ruling one way or another is dangerous to the health of the judges. And prosecution of cases there is much more complicated than dancing the tinikling. And any Manila lawyer that will go there for the hearings will be escorted by at least two SUV-loads of armed men (not the short kind, I assure you). Lawyers are in short supply in these areas and many retire prematurely. Lack of judges, prosecutors and lawyers interminably delay the resolution of cases in these areas. Unless it is overtaken by “force majeure” with the characteristic overload of copper, lead, nitrate and thunderclap.
Now what will prevent bloggers from being haled to decrepit courts in some far-flung areas of the Philippines where the accused have no chance of winning a case? One can hire the most gwapo lawyer in Manila but I wonder if his BP won’t reach 220/110 and his balls shrink and his legs turn jelly in these areas.
This is the grim implication of this cursed Valley Golf brawl.