De Lima says NBI probing 2 more 'David Tans'

By Edu Punay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 22 2014 10:17 AM | Updated as of Jan 22 2014 06:17 PM

MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is looking into two other individuals apart from businessman Davidson Bangayan as possibly being the rice smuggling king “David Tan,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said yesterday.

De Lima told The STAR she has directed the NBI to expand its investigation on the rice smuggling issue and the hunt for Tan and two other businessmen who could possibly be the real Tan.

“Even if the NBI is fairly or sufficiently convinced, thus far, that Davidson Bangayan is David Tan, we are verifying or looking into the two other alleged David Tans for a more thorough probe into this whole issue of rice smuggling,” she said.

De Lima said investigators are coordinating with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), which is currently investigating all three suspected David Tans, for this purpose.

De Lima, however, refused to reveal further details pending verification.

She believed it is possible that there are several David Tans and it could just be a matter of determining which one is running the present cartel.

De Lima, however, stressed the NBI already has evidence proving Bangayan and Tan are one and the same person.

Federation of Philippine Industries Inc. (FPII) chairman Jesus Arranza, who supported the NBI’s theory, went to De Lima to submit additional documentary evidence against Bangayan.

Arranza told reporters that Bangayan used David Tan as name in his affidavits and certification in the libel complaint that the latter filed against him in 2005 before the Manila City Prosecutor’s Office.

Arranza showed a copy of the affidavit and certification supposedly where Bangayan admitted he is indeed Tan.

“This is his affidavit where he admitted that he is Tan,” Arranza said, showing the documents to reporters.

Arranza, however, clarified he has no proof showing Bangayan is involved in rice smuggling.

He said he was only helping the NBI’s probe on the real identity of Tan.

Last week, Bangayan surfaced at the NBI to clear his name only to be served an arrest warrant against Tan for electricity pilferage case in Caloocan City.

The 33-year-old businessman was later released because the arrest warrant issued by Caloocan RTC Branch 126 Judge Lorenza Bordios-Paculdo specifically stated that Tan “is not Davidson Bangayan” – a matter De Lima also wanted to look into.