David Bangayan a mystery in Davao City
DAVAO CITY—Since this city was mentioned as the base of a businessman who is being reported as alleged smuggling kingpin David Tan, businessmen and officials here have been asking one question: Who really is David Bangayan?
After the National Bureau of Investigation released Bangayan early this week after failing to pin him down as the David Tan who is being linked to smuggling, business leaders in the city have kept mum on the real identity of Bangayan.
The Bangayans are known here as a family who operates a string of legitimate businesses, like the Holiday fleet of taxicabs and Camp Holiday Resort on Samal Island.
In a statement, the lawyer of Bangayan, Benito Salazar, said his client was being subjected to an orchestrated campaign to pin him down as David Tan in an attempt by those who are really involved in rice smuggling to create a smoke screen.
Salazar claimed that groups behind the campaign were now going around the country to convince cooperatives dealing in rice to point to Bangayan as Tan.
“It serves the interests of certain quarters that the public’s attention is misdirected on these absurd accusations” that Bangayan is Tan, said Salazar.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte repeatedly said the David Tan being referred to as David Bangayan in this city was a work of fiction and not related to the Bangayans, who are friends of the mayor.
“If you’re trying to corner me because the Bangayans are my friends, I tell you that [David Tan] is fictitious and is not from here,” Duterte said on Friday.
He said the real David Tan was not from Davao and was not related to the Bangayans.
“I’m sorry to tell you, they’re (Bangayans of Davao) not into it (smuggling),” Duterte said.
“The Bangayans here are into legitimate businesses,” Duterte said. “They’re into palm oils, taxis, motels and appliances, but they’re not into the rice trading,” said Duterte, whose statement has also been backed up by some Chinese-Filipino businessman in Davao.
A cursory check at the registration papers of the companies owned by David Bangayan showed that Bangayan consistently gave Tondo, Caloocan and Navotas addresses for the companies he owned.
Bangayan has been identified as one of the owners of the companies earlier registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, namely Advanced Scrap Specialist Corp. and Advanced Scrap Metal Trading Corp., and is a partner at Amphibian Metal Trading Co.
Salazar confirmed that David Bangayan was mainly into the scrap metal business and was “never once into used tires,” referring to accusations that Bangayan was involved in an attempt to smuggle used tires in a case filed by an Eric Ang.
The case, filed at the Calamba regional trial court in July 2005, has been dismissed, said Salazar, and it is Eric Ang who is now facing a case of perjury. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao
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