TREVOR ISBELL WRITES – The Philippine government suffers from further acts of corruption as an incognito rice smuggler, David Tan, has finally been identified as successful businessman Davidson Bangayan.

However obvious his involvement with the rice smuggling has been, Bangayan has yet to be arrested on any smuggling charges.  Rather, after his hearing with a senate committee on the allegations, authorities carried out an arrest warrant for Bangayan on the grounds of his violation of the Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994. He was also cited for contempt by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food for “lying” about being Tan during the hearing.

It’s likely that Bangayan’s initial success in his rice smuggling acts, along with his ability to maintain his duel identity for so long, is at least due in part to the governmental corruption that is rampant within the Philippines.  The Department of Justice is said to have just arrested Bangayan last month for the same case, only to later release him for lack of evidence proving he is “the smuggling king” David Tan.  Additionally, Senator Villar of the Philippine government stated that rice smugglers cannot successfully operate without assistance of corrupt government officials.

For now, the Department of Justice is holding off on further action against “the smuggling king” until they are sure they can successfully quantify the totality of his criminal acts. Concurrently, they are focusing on tightening down on the governmental divisions within the country that are suspected of being at fault in the success of these crimes.  These governmental departments include, but are not limited to, The Department of Agriculture and The Bureau of Customs.

Senator Villar spoke on this matter, stating that, “Everyone knows there is smuggling in Customs, that there are many things wrong in Customs.”  The good news for now is that governmental corruption has, at least in this instance, failed in the face of persevering justice.  Hopefully this is just the start for the continued success of the Philippine Department of Justice and its counterparts.