Roxas suspended from golf club over 'outburst'

MANILA, Philippines – About 3 weeks since his alleged outburst at a prestigious golf club, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas faces a two-month suspension for failing to "maintain good order at all times."

On Friday, April 25, Wack Wack Golf and Country Club released a statement announcing the suspension of Roxas, a club member, who allegedly yelled and cursed at club employees who had asked him to pay the green fee for a guest.

In a statement, Roxas responded to the suspension, saying he would "accede to it."

"I do not consider myself above any law, rule or regulation," he said in his statement.

According to reports, Roxas allegedly refused to pay the green fee of P5,100 for his guest, professional golfer Rey Pagunsan, who accompanied the official to give him golf lessons on April 6.

Upset about being charged, Roxas reportedly proceeded to berate several employees who approached him at various times to remind him of the rules.

Roxas said he had already apologized "for any infractions or hurt feelings as a result of this misunderstanding over the payment of green fees for non-players." He also denied swearing at any staff member.

"It was not my intention to hurt or insult anyone, and I did not curse at anyone either," he said.

"I have been a member/player in Wack Wack for more than 20 years. I have had absolutely no record of misdemeanor or any inappropriate behavior in all these years at sa haba nitong panahon ni minsan wala akong nakaaway or nakagalitan (and all this time, not once did I have a fight with or scold anyone)," he said.

"Wala sa puso ko na sirain ang magandang relasyon ko sa mga caddy, empleyado, at miyembro ng Wack Wack family (It is not in my heart to destroy my good relationship with the caddies, employees, and members of the Wack Wack family)."

In its statement, Wack Wack did not divulge any details over what transpired during the incident, although previous reports said the club probed the incident before deciding to suspend Roxas.

Allies of Roxas defended the Cabinet secretary and suggested that reports of the incident had been exaggerated, and dismissed them as black propaganda.

Roxas is widely believed to be the ruling Liberal Party's standard bearer for the 2016 presidential elections.

The statement of Wack Wack is printed in full below:

Statement of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club Board and Management

Wack Wack Golf and Country Club (WWGCC) through its general manager Francisco M. Legarda, announced the two-month suspension of proprietary member, Manuel A Roxas II for violation of club rules and regulations.

The sanction imposed on Mr. Roxas is consistent with actions taken by the club to uphold its policies and to maintain good order at all times for the enjoyment of the club by its members and their dependents and guests.

Wack Wack Golf and Country Club is a private club. It is a basic and time-honored policy of the club to protect its privacy and that of its members. It is therefore our desire that with this statement and the action taken on this incident, we shall now consider this matter closed and move on.

Thank you.