MANILA (Mabuhay) – Businessman Davidson Bangayan on Wednesday remained firm that he is not suspected rice smuggler “David Tan,” despite being confronted at a Senate probe with court documents showing he used the alias.
During the Senate agriculture committee’s inquiry on rice smuggling, senators consistently got a negative answer from Bangayan whenever the trader was asked if he and “David Tan” are the same person.
“My name is Davidson Bangayan. I’m not David Tan,” Bangayan said at the start of his testimony during the probe.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima however said that her agency already has two witnesses who said that Bangayan used the alias “David Tan.”
De Lima even presented before the committee court documents from a libel case Bangayan supposedly filed against Jesus Arranza, chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries, in 2005.
In these papers, de Lima said Bangayan admitted to being “David Tan.”
“How come in that document, he explicitly admitted that Bangayan aka David Tan? At sa attachment niya, Bangayan aka David Tan? Siya ang nag-attach noon,” de Lima said.
The Senate committee gave Bangayan an opportunity to examine de Lima’s document, but the trader stood pat on his denial.
At one point during the hearing, Bangayan’s repeated denial infuriated Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, who claimed that he also has “court documents” against the suspected rice smuggler.
Enrile revealed that in an arbitration case in Singapore, Bangayan also stated that he used the alias “David Tan.”
“Nagsisinungaling ka dito eh. Sabihin mo na ang totoo, kundi, makukulong ka… Hindi ka puwede magsinungaling doon [Singapore]. Ikukulong ka ni Lee Kwan Yew,” the Senate opposition leader said, referring to Singapore’s first prime minister. (MNS)