After two years since the case against “rice smuggling king” Davidson Bangayan aka David Tan was put on hold, the National Bureau of Investigation refiles the case.
The case filed against Davidson Bangayan and several others were tossed back two years ago by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima of the Department of Justice because it needed more evidence. Now, NBI is ready to refile the case and have Bangayan and many others probed by the DOJ, as per an article by GMA.
The first case was filed in August 2014 against Bangayan for bid fixing in violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act (Republic Act 9184) and monopoly and restraint of trade in violation of Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code. Several others were also charged, namely: David and Judilyne Lim, Elizabeth Faustino, Eleanor Rodriguez, Leah Echeveria, Eugene Pioquinto, Mary Joyce Lim, Jason Colocado, Michael Villanueva, Denis Gonzales, Willy Sy, Sandra Lim, Gil Calipayan, and Inigo Espiritu.
Bangayan also face charges for using a fictitious name or concealing true identity in violation of Article 178 of the RPC and violation of Commonwealth Act 142 as amended by Republic Act 6085.
NBI found out that Bangayan and several others were involved in a “scheme where they cornered government’s rice import allocations, through the National Food Authority (NFA), in 2012 using 25 farmers’ organizations and cooperatives, and single proprietors that did not have the necessary financial and logistical capabilities as “dummies,” as quoted by GMA. The rice traders and importers pooled the bidders into groups and financed their individual bids for NFA rice allocations. In exchange, the farmers’ organizations and cooperative were allegedly paid a meager P8 per sack.
“With the acts of subjects Bangayan and company, the other capable individuals were denied their share on the allocation of the rice importation,” as per the NBI statement.
A three-man DOJ panel headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Eden Wakay-Valdes is now undergoing a preliminary investigation. Bangayan and others are set to file their counter affidavits on October 12 and 30.