NBI recommends ‘bid-fixing’ complaint vs Bangayan
MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has recommended the filing of criminal complaint against suspected rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan also known as David Tan.
In a 45-page memorandum submitted to Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, the NBI recommended that Bangayan, together with representatives of farmers cooperatives (FC) and farmers organizations (FO) be slapped with a complaint for violation of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act for bid-fixing and violation of the Revised Penal Code for Monopolies and Restraint of Trade. Aside from Bangayan, named in the memo were Judilyne Lim, Elizabeth Faustino, Eleanor Rodriguez and Leah Echeveria.
Bangayan will be slapped with a separate complaint for using fictitious name or concealing true name.
The NBI also recommended the filing of a separate complaint with the Ombudsman against former National Food Authority Administrator Angelito T. Banayo, Special Bids and Awards Committee (SBAC) Chairman Atty. Jose D. Cordero and SBAC members Celia Tan, Atty. Gilberto Lauengco, Carlito G. Co and Atty. Judy Carol Dansal for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Investigation by the NBI showed that the farmer cooperatives and farmer organizations and single proprietorship were mere dummies of rice traders and importers where one group is led by Bangayan while another group in Cebu is led by spouses David and Judilyne Lim.
Bangayan and the Lim couple, according to the NBI, bankroll the bids of the farmer cooperatives and farmers organizations to be able to comply with the requirements set by the NFA.
The cooperatives also admitted that they do not have the financial capacity to join the bidding for rice importation. They added that they are not even aware that there will be bidding. The representatives said they are not aware that they are violating the law.
“They were of the impression that the combination of cooperatives made by their financier was allowed by law and there was nothing wrong with it. In fact, it was only the financiers, through their representatives, who informed them about the bidding and eventually convinced them to join for consideration,” the NBI recommendation stated.
On the other hand, the NBI said the NFA officials admitted that they knew the inability of the farmer cooperatives to join the bidding and yet they were still allowed to participate.
The complaints will be filed with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman on Aug. 7.
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