What happened to Bangayan’s cases? Poe wants answers from DOJ, NBI
Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday moved to invite the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a Senate hearing to explain what has happened to the cases filed against suspected rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan, alias “David Tan.”
“Matagal na nating naririnig ang pangalan ni Davidson Bangayan/David Tan. Nasa hearing natin yan noon. Mismong ang ating Presidente, sinabi na siya ay dadakpin,” Poe said during the hearing of the Senate committee on agriculture on rice shortage.
“May kaso ba yan o hanggang ngayon wala pa rin? Hindi pa rin matunton?” the senator asked.
The DOJ ended its preliminary investigation into the criminal complaints filed by the NBI against Bangayan and other suspected syndicate members and smugglers for alleged rice smuggling during the Aquino administration.
The NBI accused Bangayan for monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade, bid fixing and using fictitious name or concealing true name.
The bureau is also accusing Bangayan’s co-respondents of establishing a scheme to recruit rice farmers in order to organize them “for the purpose of acquiring substantial allocations on the Private Sector Financed Importation Tax Expenditure Subsidy importation program with the end goal of monopolizing the supply of rice.”
Poe recalled that in a 2014 Senate inquiry, “it was established that Bangayan and Tan were one and the same person even as the businessman insisted that he was not the one named in intelligence reports as the prime mover in the rice smuggling industry.”
“Then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte told the Senate that there was no doubt that Bangayan and Tan were the same person,” she said.
The senator also recounted that Bureau of Customs (BOC) officials told the Senate they do not hold any record of Bangayan nor Tan.
NFA officials, for their part, told senators that based on their records, there was no David Bangayan who participated in their biddings and that the NFA did not issue rice import permits to Bangayan, Poe said.
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