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Friday, January 24, 2014

De Lima and Sen. Enrile said: David Tan A.K.A. David Banagayan is One

David Bangayan and suspected big time rice smuggler David Tan are one and only same person. Justice Sec. De Lima asserted this yesterday during the face off at the public hearing by the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee Chairperson Sen. Villar. The Villar committee is looking into widespread rice smuggling that has greatly prejudiced local rice farmers. However, Bangayan insisted he isn't David Tan. Asked by Sen. Estrada whether he is a rice smuggler, Bangayan replied "No, Your Honor." This prompted Senate Minority Leader Enrile to say "O come on. I have documents against this man. Tell the truth or you go to jail. " He then submitted the documents to Villar who will decide what to do with these. Jess Arranza, president of the Federation of Philippine Industries, corroborated Enrile's allegation showing a document in a libel case Bangayan had filed against him and former Makati Rep. Locsin, stating that Bangayan and David Tan are one and the same person. De Lima said the Dept. of Justice has in it's possession documents showing that Bangayan is the "Mysterious " David Tan whose name is a byword at the waterfront. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is standing by it's findings that Bangayan is David Tan but is continuing to dig deeper to make it's conclusion stick, she said. The NBI is not yet divulging details of it's ongoing probe, De Lima added. He admitted however that he is into rice importation business where the practice is for  the rice traders to consolidate rice importation privileges of farmers cooperatives to import rice through import permits given by the National Food Authority (NFA) and finance their rice importations. Villar noted that a big portion of the proceeds in the sale of imported rice go to the financier rice traders which put at a disadvantage rice farmers who were supposed to benefit from such government approved importations. Although the consolidation of the farmer's cooperatives import permits is said to be a normal practice in the rice trading industry, Villar said that "to me, it's against the law". As rice traders have used these cooperatives as dummies,  it is now up to De Lima to prosecute these rice traders as De Lima herself stated that it is not right and appears to be illegal, Villar added.           
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