Senate body issues subpoena to David Bangayan for rice smuggling probe | Inquirer News
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Senate body issues subpoena to David Bangayan for rice smuggling probe

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 05:20 PM January 20, 2014

Davidson Bangayan. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — To ensure his appearance, the Senate agriculture committee has issued a subpoena for David Bangayan to shed light on the unabated rice smuggling in some of the country’s ports and free ports.

Meanwhile, a group of farmers on Monday turned over sacks of P1 coins totaling P55,000 to the agriculture committee as a reward money for witnesses who would come forward to identify smugglers.

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The subpoena ad tesficandum requires Bangayan to appear and testify “on what you know’’ under the penalty of law.

The committee is resuming its hearing on rice smuggling at the Subic Bay Freeport zone, and the port of Legazpi, Albay, this Wednesday.

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“Unless proven guilty, we can’t say he’s the only smuggler. That’s why we’re holding a hearing to prove, to interview witnesses, to interview resource persons, so we could come up with a report singling out the smugglers,’’ committee chair, Sen. Cynthia Villar told reporters.

Villar said the goal of the committee would be to identify the smugglers, and their protectors, and recommend the filing of charges against them.

She said farmers’ cooperatives, which would endorse individuals who could import rice, would play a key role in identifying the smugglers and protectors.

Bangayan turned up last week at the National Bureau of Investigation and then at the Department of Justice to deny any role in smuggling. He admitted that he dabbled in “selling rice.’’ He was briefly held for questioning for alleged pilferage of electricity.

Bangayan showed up after he saw photographs on TV of David Tan that looked like him.

The committee initially served a subpoena for one Davidson Tan Bangayan or David Tan, but this was rejected. It issued another subpoena, this time for one Davidson Bangayan.

Sources at the National Bureau of Investigation said that Bangayan could be easily linked to some of the dummy cooperatives and trading companies because these shared common addresses.

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Meanwhile, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) turned over P55,000 to the committee as reward for whistleblowers on smuggling of agriculture products.

“They said they turned over coins because one smuggler, David Tan, used to smuggle coins to China,’’ Villar explained. “They want to emphasize that this David Tan, a known smuggler of agricultural products in the Philippines, should be prosecuted.’’

Rosendo So of SINAG said all those personalities linked to smuggling should be summoned to the inquiry.

“Our purpose is to stop smuggling,’’ he said, adding that they were confident that the committee could pin down the smugglers.

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TAGS: congressional inquiry, David Bangayan, legislative inquiry, News, Philippine Congress, rice, rice smuggling, Senate, Senate committee on agriculture
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