Mar may be suspended for golf outburst

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II may face suspension under the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s handbook for member-employee relations following his outburst during a round of golf with guests earlier this month.

The club itself has put in motion a formal hearing based on the report filed by the starters on the Cabinet official, who resented the staff’s dispatch of duties.

Wack Wack president Philip Ella Juico, who was to arrive last night from Bangkok where he attended the Asian Women’s Volleyball Club Championship, will meet with club officials today, particularly membership committee head Federico Campos and general manager Francisco Legarda.

The investigation is based on the report filed by the employees, who said Roxas berated and cursed them for demanding payment of the green fee for a golf pro whom Roxas had invited to give lessons to his guest.

Reports submitted to club administration said the incident took place on April 6 at the exclusive club’s registration office.

“I still have to meet with my colleagues at Wack Wack, who will look into this and will come up with action after a sober and objective assessment,” Juico told The STAR.

The committee will look into the report and determine the course of action to be taken against Roxas, who had been a club member for years, and the gravity of the offense.

Roxas reportedly lost his cool and started cursing and berating the club personnel, who insisted that he pay the pro’s green fee.

“We have long established a functioning system that looks into these matters. The rules and processes will be evenly applied to all members,” said Juico.

There were sentiments allegedly from the general members of the club that Roxas had stepped out of bounds as the incident put Wack Wack in a bad light and brought to mind several cases of employee abuse that led to a series of suspensions in the past.

One employee appeared certain that Roxas will be suspended, as he cited a guideline in the handbook protecting employees from abusive members.

The handbook was reportedly crafted during the time of Wack Wack founder Bill Shaw in 1930 who ironically spearheaded the drive to build a new club on an issue of discrimination against Filipinos who suffered in the confines of the established club in Caloocan in 1930s.

One employee said the handbook was implicit on member-employee relations, adding that through the guidelines they are protected against abusive members.

He cited the recent case of a leading Wack Wack official who was suspended for one year for slapping a waiter.

The son of a top club official was also suspended for berating and cursing at waiters and kitchen staff whom he accused of “stealing” some Spam luncheon meat that he had asked the kitchen to cook for him and his guests.

Roxas earlier sent a letter to club members, giving his side on the incident where he maintained that he did not badmouth any of the club personnel.

The controversy, which The STAR carried on the front page last week, went viral and made the rounds of various golf clubs during the Lenten break.


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