Speaking before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday, February 3, that he is willing to kill notorious rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan (aka David Tan) if he ever is caught smuggling in Davao City. In attendance, was Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Known for his iron hand in ruling over Davao City, Duterte made the statement after he was asked by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada regarding what he would possibly do if he personally catches Bangayan smuggling in Davao City.
According to the outspoken mayor, he would gladly kill the rice smuggler if he finds him unloading smuggled rice anywhere in his city. He even added that he is willing to spend the rest of his life in jail if that would mean he can do something to provide an immediate solution for the problem. He believes that it would be a great service to the country.
Further, Duterte admitted that he is already old; thus, he wouldn’t mind spending the rest of life by simply hanging out in jail, reminiscing about the past and old glories. Also, he said that he’d just go and read books in jail while serving his sentence, especially because that would mean that he would be more relaxed and away from stress.
More Talk, Less Action
Duterte feels that many government officials involved in the rice smuggling investigation are doing more talk but not really doing much action. He said that he spoke about his willingness to kill the big-time rice smuggler to help the country, but is not trying to be a hero at all.
Further, he said that nowadays, there are no real heroes left in the country because Filipinos are not really willing to die for other people. There are also no more Filipinos left who are willing to kill for the country, he also said.
Rice Smuggling Investigations
The mayor was involved in the rice smuggling investigations after he was asked by Commissioner Kim Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to check on reports regarding the possibility of smuggling in Davao City’s port.
Duterte said that his investigation had eventually led him to the operations of certain David Tan, now identified to be Davidson Bangayan. However, upon checking on the city’s records, they could not find a single business permit owned by either identity. Nevertheless, Tan’s name kept cropping up and everyone seemed to know him.
Further investigations also revealed that even small-time smugglers and rice retailers would simply go to Tan so they could import rice. Duterte also found out that it was Tan who held a lot of connections within the Bureau of Customs.
To further confirm his willingness to take the law in his own hands and kill Tan/Bangayan if he catches the smuggler in the act of breaking the law, Duterte also told his audience that he had already asked Davao’s intelligence community to provide him with a photo of the smuggler. He showed a photo of Bangayan, saying that he believes it is the rice smuggler himself.
According to the mayor, Bangayan is not from Davao but reportedly goes to the city once a year to check on his rice, fertilizer, and scrap metal business.