DOJ files perjury case vs suspected rice smuggler
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday filed a perjury case against businessman David Bangayan for his refusal to acknowledge he is David Tan, a suspected rice smuggler, during a Senate investigation of rice smuggling in the country last February.
Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said the information of perjury against Bangayan was filed in the Manila Metropolitan Trial Court.
The DOJ recommended the filing of the case of perjury in a resolution dated April 8.
The complaint of perjury was filed against Bangayan, owner and operator of Advanced Scrap Specialist Corp., by Horace Cruda, secretary of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, after the businessman appeared at a Senate hearing on rice smuggling.
This stemmed from Bangayan’s refusal to acknowledge he is also known as David Tan despite being showed documents that said otherwise.
These included his own complaint-affidavit in a libel case against businessman Jesus Arranza dated April 26, 2005, when he said “there is no other person by the name of Davidson Bangayan aka David Tan” and “there is no question that I was clearly and directly identified in the subject publication.”
There was also a certification issued by Justin Chan, dated April 22, 2005, which states that Advanced Scrap Specialist Corp. is headed by Davidson Bangayan aka David Tan.
Cruda said Bangayan violated Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, which defined perjury whose elements included the accused making a statement under oath or executing an affidavit upon a material matter.
The Revised Penal Code added that the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer authorized to receive and administer oaths, and that the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood in the statement or affidavit.
The code also said that the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity was required by law or was made for a legal purpose.
All elements of perjury
In his resolution, Prosecutor Loverhetee Jeffrey Villordon ruled that all the elements of perjury were present in the case.
Villordon said Bangayan had made statements under oath upon a material matter when he repeatedly denied he was David Tan.
“Undeniably, respondent was conscious of the fact that his statements, given during the subject hearings of the Senate committee … were false. He knew fully well that he had previously signed a document under oath which states that he is David Tan, and yet he denied this when questioned by the committee,” the DOJ resolution said.
It noted that Bangayan’s foreign clients also knew him as David Tan and yet the latter still denied it.
The resolution also noted that perjury was present when Bangayan denied he was David Tan at the Senate hearing that was looking into David Tan’s alleged involvement in rice smuggling.
“In the case at bar, enough evidence have been presented to lead any reasonable mind to believe that perjury has indeed been committed by the respondent during the subject Senate committee hearings,” it said.–With Tetch Torres-Tupas
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