Davao City mayor keen on strong action against smuggler

Subscribe Now February 04, 2014 at 11:39am

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City yesterday said he will not hesitate to kill Davidson Bangayan if he saw him smuggling rice in his city.

Appearing at the resumption of the Senate probe on rice smuggling, Duterte also said Bangayan and David Tan were one and the same.

“If this guy would go to Davao and start to unload (smuggled rice) and I catch him, I will gladly kill him,” he said.

Duterte told members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food that besides the information he got from the intelligence community, rice traders and personalities in related sectors pointed to Bangayan, as the go-to-guy when it comes to rice smuggling.

He said Commissioner Kim Henares of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) had asked him to help the bureau stop the smuggling of the staple in the Port of Davao. Duterte said he organised a meeting with officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP) and rice traders, to gather more information on the extent of rice smuggling.

“The name David Tan keeps on cropping up as the centre figure in rice smuggling in the country. Anyone who wants to import rice into the country will have to go to him, including the farmers’ groups,” he said.

The mayor said Bangayan was not from Davao but he goes to the city once a year to inquire about the importation of scrap metal, fertilisers and rice. The mayor said he never intended to interfere in the work of the Customs bureau in the port of Davao because he may be suspected of being interested in the importation of goods. But he said he will not allow the city to become one of the smuggling centres in the country.

Duterte’s positive identification of Bangayan prompted Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito to suggest citing Bangayan for contempt, for lying about his identity.

Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile then moved to cite Bangayan for contempt and the Senate committee headed by Sen. Cynthia Villar approved it. “The committee felt that he (Bangayan) was lying, that is why we will hold him in contempt,” Villar said.

The panel also directed the Senate legal counsel to prepare perjury charges against Bangayan before Friday. It also asked the Department of Justice to put Bangayan on its watch list and the Department of Foreign Affairs to cancel his passport.

Villar said the panel decided not to detain Bangayan in the Senate since he has been attending the hearings.

After the hearing, Bangayan was rearrested by the NBI over a separate case of electricity pilferage he is facing before a Caloocan City court.

“We were advised by the executive judge that the original warrant of arrest, even if it says ‘David Tan who is not Davidson Bangayan,’ can be used as basis for the immediate arrest of Davidson Bangayan because of the additional proof that we have,” said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Source: gulf-times.com



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