The Bureau of Customs (BOC) chief assured the public on full cooperation with the government in probing David Tan, the alleged rice smuggler in the country after he was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla said that the BOC welcomes the arrest of David Tan or also known as Davidson Tan Bangayan or David Lim, which he assured to fully cooperate with the NBI in its investigation.
However, he said, despite the fact that Tan is involved in rice smuggling, he does not believe that the alleged rice smuggler is not the only one into smuggling.
“Even if Mr. Tan is indeed involved in rice smuggling, we do not believe he is the only one,” Sevilla said in statement released by Charo Lagamon, the chief of Public Information and Assistance Division of the BOC.
On Tuesday, Department of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima confirmed that the NBI has arrested the alleged rice smuggler, Tan.
However, de Lima clarified that the arrest has nothing to do with the allegations against Tan in relation to rice smuggling.
Based on reports, Tan was arrested by virtue of a standing warrant issued by the Caloocan Regional Trial Court on October 11, 2010 for violation of Republic Act 7832 or the act penalizing the pilferage of electricity and theft of electric power transmission lines.
It was learned that the offense is “bailable” with a recommended bail of P40,000.
In a separate report, a lawyer of the arrested Tan stressed that the NBI has arrested the wrong person.
Lawyer Benito Salazar, lawyer of the arrested Tan, said that his client was not David Tan, but Davidson Bangayan.
On Tuesday Bangayan had met de Lima to “clarify” his name, and that he is not David Tan.
Meanwhile, Sevilla emphasized that the bureau will continuously work hard to arrest the smugglers in the country, adding that he needs the cooperation of the public.
“We will continue to work hard against rice smuggling, regardless of who carries it out, and we urge the public to remain vigilant alongside us,” he disclosed.