Bangayan: Perjury charge baseless

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

BUSINESSMAN Davidson Bangayan hit the Senate for insisting that he is the alleged rice smuggling leader David Tan, whose illegal transactions in recent years denied the government billions of pesos in revenue.

In his counter-affidavit to the perjury charge filed by the Senate, Bangayan told the Department of Justice (DOJ) that the legislative inquiry was not made to expose Tan's real identity.

"Clearly, the Senate inquiry was about rice sufficiency, rice importation and/or smuggling. It was never about who 'David Tan' is. All the more, the Senate inquiry was never about who I was, or whether or not I and that person identified as 'David Tan,' are one and the same person," he said.

The businessman said he has identification documents to prove that he is not Tan even if his libel complaint against Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) chairman Jesus Arranza and some media personalities in 2005 apparently showed otherwise.

Bangayan felt there may have been some oversight on his part as he maintained that he did not sign the complaint as Tan, who was alleged in reports at the time as smuggler and swindler.

"In any case, lack of prudence, oversight or even simple negligence, do not necessarily translate into the presence of malice or evil intent on my part," the counter-affidavit stated.

Bangayan was absent from the first preliminary investigation hearing on Thursday because he had already filed his defense a day earlier.

Senate legal counsel Valentina Cruz and Senate committee on agriculture and food legislative secretary Horace Cudra received a copy of the counter-affidavit as the chamber is expected to rebut this on March 10.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also believed that Bangayan is using the alias David Tan. It has yet to finish its probe on rice smuggling activities in the country.

Bangayan is currently on bail for an electricity theft case pending before a Caloocan City court. (Sunnex)

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