THE senate committee on agriculture and food already has enough evidence for it to recommend the filing of criminal cases against Davison Bangayan and his cohorts in connection with the rice smuggling operations in the country, senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., said o Tuesday.
Marcos, in an interview with reporters said that apart from the filing of perjury charges which was recommended Monday by Senator Cynthia Villar, he expects the committee to also come up with recommendation to charge Bangayan and others.
The senate panel is set to file perjury charges against Bangayan, for lying about his true identity and insisted that he is not David Tan, despite the existence of documents implying that he and Tan are one and the same.
Villar, during the hearing Monday also recommended Bangayan’s inclusion on the watchlist order of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the cancellation of his passport.
“I’m sure the recommendation of the committee, together with the findings of the committee, will be to file cases not only against David Tan or Davidson Bangayan but also against others,” Marcos said.
Other individuals that may also be charged include David Lim and Emmanuel Santos, for their supposed involvement in the rice smuggling in the country.
Villar for her part said that she would leave the filing of cases at this point to the Justice Department and what is important is that the committee was able to connect Bangayan in rice smuggling activities.
“For me it is enough to show that what they ( Bangayan and others) are doing is illegal,” she added.
Meanwhile, minority Senator JV Ejercito, said that the rice smuggling problem the country is facing is a challenge to the thrust of ‘Daang Matuwid’ (straight path) under the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“Is rice smuggling too lucrative to be stopped? We are aware that there is already something wrong with the system during the administration of the former president Gloria Arroyo, why did this government allowed it to continue?” Ejercito, chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee, noted.
Ejercito said the government must urgently curb rice smuggling and crackdown all unscrupulous individuals and groups profiting from contraband goods.
“The public needs strong political will from the government against rice smuggling because only the government can put a rein on it,” he added. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA