Quantcast
Latest Stories

‘David Tan’ shows up at NBI

By , Jerome Aning

BIGGEST RICE SMUGGLER? Alleged rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan is escorted by NBI agents after he appeared at the NBI headquarters in Manila on Tuesday with his lawyer. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

A 33-year-old high school dropout surfaced Tuesday to deny he is David Tan, but Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said he definitely looked like the wily kingpin behind a multibillion-peso rice smuggling syndicate that had eluded investigators for over a year.

Davidson Bangayan, accompanied by his lawyer, Benito Salazar, presented himself at the Department of Justice and later at the National Bureau of Investigation. He was briefly detained for further questioning—not on rice smuggling but for allegedly pilfering electricity.

Bangayan, who was subsequently released, told the Inquirer that he had nothing to do with smuggling rice, but admitted he “dabbles in selling rice.”

“No need to smuggle rice because importation has been liberalized,” he said in a brief interview at the NBI headquarters. He said he voluntarily showed up after he saw photographs of David Tan in TV news reports on Monday that looked like him.

“By his looks, he’s really the one in the photo submitted to me by the NBI. Their initial finding is that Davidson Bangayan and David Tan are one and the same person. The one in the photo is really him and he said he also saw his photo on TV that’s why he decided to surface,” De Lima said.

Witnesses identify Bangayan

Abono Chair Rosendo So earlier provided the Senate committee on agriculture chaired by Sen. Cynthia Villar with information that Tan and Bangayan are one and the same person. The Senate committee a year ago had ordered a manhunt for Tan but had come up with a blank wall.

Customs authorities said that Tan was behind smuggling activities that had cost the government P7 billion annually in lost revenues.

NBI Deputy Director Virgilio Mendez told the Inquirer that several witnesses had identified Bangayan as the alleged rice smuggling kingpin. Some of the witnesses are members of a rice cooperative, he said.

Mendez declined to give details of his evidence, but said among the documents NBI has was a bail bond document of Tan with mug shots that clearly showed Bangayan.

De Lima said she was surprised by Bangayan’s appearance. “He said he’s engaged in scrap metal and fertilizer sale, and he admits that he also has a little rice business. He said it’s not that big and therefore he can’t be the big-time smuggler [David Tan] and he says he’s willing to cooperate,” she said.

The justice secretary said Bangayan told her he would speak to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to “find out what he knows about this David Tan and whether he knows something about Tan being Davidson Bangayan.”

De Lima later said Bangayan wasn’t the subject of an arrest warrant for a criminal case pending in Caloocan City for violation of Republic Act No. 7832, or the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on Tuesday said it was a “blessing that what we have been saying all along about a ‘David Tan’ controlling  rice smuggling in the country is true.”

Senate hearing

Rosendo So, Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura president and Abono party-list group founder, said: “We look forward to seeing Davidson ‘David Tan’ Bangayan next week, Jan. 22. The Senate has invited David Tan through the DOJ,” said So.

“Rice traders, cooperatives and rice millers know him, he is the one selling smuggled rice. Let’s just wait when they face him in the hearing,” So said.

In a phone interview, Alcala said that Salazar had been doing the media rounds to vilify the Department of Agriculture and National Food Authority and force it to liberalize the importation of rice.

Salazar has argued that his clients were not only willing to pay the 50-percent duty on its rice imports but that the World Trade Organization (WTO), which governed global trading rules between nations including the Philippines, has already lifted quantitative restrictions on imports.

But Alcala stressed that he was just upholding the rule of law as the 18-year-old Agricultural Tarification Act (Republic Act No. 8178), which imposed import restrictions on farm products, had not yet been voided by Congress.

“They have to respect the law.  These import restrictions are meant to protect our farmers. Are we for our farmers or foreign farmers? We have to protect our rice farmers because it is our goal to have self-sufficiency in the most consumed staple of Filipinos,” Alcala said.—With reports from Gil C. Cabacungan and Jerry E. Esplanada

Originally posted: 10:41 pm | Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

                                                                                      

RELATED STORIES:

Alcala glad ‘David Tan’ has surfaced to answer rice smuggling raps

NBI says it has proof Davidson Bangayan, ‘David Tan’ are one person


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Abono party list , Benito Salazar , Crime , David Tan , Davidson Bangayan , Department of Agriculture , Department of Justice , government investigation , lawyers , National Bureau of Investigation , News , Proceso Alcala , rice , rice smuggling , Rosendo So , Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura , Sinag , Smuggling , Virgilio Mendez




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Militants kill 14 Algerian soldiers in ambush
  • Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
  • 4 French journalists freed from Syria captors home
  • Thousands celebrate Easter in Holy Land
  • Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation
  • Sports

  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Warriors beat Clippers in playoff opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement