NBI arrests alleged rice smuggling king

Posted at 01/14/2014 1:44 PM | Updated as of 01/15/2014 4:07 AM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested alleged Philippine rice smuggling "king" David Tan also known as Davidson Bangayan on Tuesday,  just hours after he surfaced at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to "clear" his name before Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Bangayan's arrest, however, had nothing to do with rice smuggling, but for alleged electricity pilferage.

A warrant of arrest issued by Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 126 Judge Lorenza Bordios-Paculdo, dated Oct. 11, 2010, was the basis for Bangayan's arrest, De Lima said.

"There is a certified true copy of a warrant of arrest secured by the NBI very recently--that is Jan. 7, 2014. Since nagpakita na sa kanila kanina, so they decided to serve the warrant of arrest on his person.

"They will immediately present him to the court which issued that warrant of arrest. I understand its a bailable offense: a bail of P40,000 daw," De Lima said.

Bangayan went to the NBI after meeting with the justice chief to execute an affidavit in connection with the bureau's probe into rice smuggling.

He denied any involvement in the illegal operations, even as a Senate inquiry in 2013 identified him as one of the most prominent figures in the rice smuggling trade.

WHAT'S IN A NAME

Asked how the NBI will tackle issues on Bangayan's true identity considering that he allegedly uses various aliases, De Lima said it's up to Bangayan to prove that he is not the subject of the arrest warrant.

"Ang premise kasi ng NBI is [David Tan and Davidson Bangayan are] one and the same. Now, if he's really denying [the arrest warrant is for him] then it's for him to prove it,"De Lima said.

Hours after De Lima announced his arrest, Bangayan left the NBI, insisting that the warrant for "David Tan," and which specifically states that it is not for Davidson Bangayan, is not intended for him.