NBI says it has proof Davidson Bangayan, ‘David Tan’ are one person
MANILA, Philippines — The 33-year-old Davidson Bangayan and David Tan are one and the same “Goliath” of rice smuggling, according to the National Bureau of Investigation.
Virgilio Mendez, deputy director for regional services told Inquirer that several witnesses have come forward and identified him as the “source of the smuggled rice.”
“We have our set of whistle-blowers, some of them members of the cooperative who positively identified him,’’ Mendez said.
He added that they got sufficient proof that Bangayan and Tan, the so-called big-time rice smuggler, were one and the same.
Mendez declined to give details of the evidence against Bangayan, but said among the documents NBI that got was a bail bond document of Tan with mug shots that clearly showed Bangayan’s face.
Bangayan accompanied by his lawyer Benito Salazar presented himself before Mendez at the NBI office following a meeting with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
He denied being the “David Tan” involved in rice smuggling, adding that he only “dabbles in selling rice.’’
“No need to smuggle rice because importation had been liberalized,’’ Bangayan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer at the NBI headquarters on Tuesday.
He added that he has also been trading in agri-business products and has set up an office in Ortigas in Pasig City.
Mendez said they were surprised by Bangayan’s appearance before De Lima and in their office.
“We are investigating him and the investigation continues even after his appearance in the office,’’ Mendez said.
He said that Bangayan was not arrested but was asked to stay briefly at the NBI-National Capital Regional Division pending verification of an arrest warrant issued against “David Tan et al.” for electric pilferage issued by a Caloocan City court.
Bangayan also said that he had nothing to hide and was a “consultant for NBI three years ago.’’
He also said he even volunteered to have his fingerprints taken for NBI verification.
De Lima, in an interview with reporters, confirmed that Bangayan was the same person who was in the photo submitted to her by the NBI.
“The initial result of the verification and investigation of the NBI is that this David Tan actually exists and he is the same in the photo,” De Lima said.
Bangayan, in interview with reporters at the NBI, said he would file libel cases against Jesus Arranza, Federation of Philippine Industries president, for linking him to rice smuggling.
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