Trader Bangayan sues industry exec for saying he’s ‘David Tan’
MANILA, Philippines—Businessman Davidson Bangayan has filed grave slander and libel charges against Federation of Philippine Industries chair Jesus Arranza for tagging him as the “David Tan” who is the alleged “Goliath of rice smuggling” in the country.
The 33-year-old scrap metal trader said Arranza’s public statements against him were “false,” “defamatory,” “malicious” and “misleading,” in the complaint he filed in the city prosecutor’s office in Manila.
Bangayan, who listed his home address as Celadon Residences, Felix Huertas St., Sta. Cruz, Manila, quoted Arranza as having told media that “David Tan is apparently an alias of a certain Davidson Bangayan” and “Davidson Tan Bangayan was a scrap metal trader from Davao City before going into rice smuggling.”
Bangayan said he had “never engaged in any smuggling activity, yet (Arranza) has persistently been linking me to the reported rice smuggling without the benefit of solid evidence.”
In his counter-affidavit, Arranza told Assistant City Prosecutor Raul Husmillo that his public statements about Bangayan were motivated by his “social duty to unmask David Tan.”
“In giving the (media) interviews and making the utterances, I was motivated not by malice but by a social obligation,” he said.
He pointed out that “the history of events showed beyond doubt my response to my social duty to unmask David Tan, having first-hand information that Davidson Bangayan and David Tan are one and the same person.”
“If there is any person whose actions are tainted with malice, it is (Bangayan) for singling me out in the face of other accusers pointing to him as David Tan. There are other notable persons who have categorically pointed to him as Davidson Bangayan aka David Tan. Among them were (Davao City) Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has called him to his face a rice smuggler, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, but the complainant chose to file this suit against me alone,” said Arranza.
He said he “could not help believing that the suit is purely harassment and calculated to intimidate me into silence so that I will be daunted from exposing him for who he really is.”
But the criminal charges filed against him will not stop him from further exposing Bangayan’s alleged involvement in illegal trading activities, Arranza said.—Jerry E. Esplanada