The National Prosecution Service (NPS) has found probable cause to charge Davidson Bangayan a.k.a. “David Tan” and five (5) others for anomalous transactions to manipulate rice importations in the country penalized under Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code.
In a Resolution dated 5 November 2018, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Miguel F. Gudio, Jr. found that Bangayan and one Elizabeth Faustino used various multi-purpose cooperatives as dummies in bidding for the importation of rice. Gudio likewise found that David G. Lim, Judilyne C. Lim, Eleanor C. Rodriguez and Leah Echeveria also resorted to the same modus operandi so that they could import rice through certain cooperatives and thereafter monopolize or manipulate the supply and price of rice in the country.
Based on the investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Graft Division (NBI-AGD), the cooperatives used by the groups of Bangayan and Lim had no financial capacity to import rice. The evidence submitted by NBI-AGD to the NPS nevertheless showed that the groups of Bangayan and Lim acted as financiers of these cooperatives. They likewise facilitated the procurement of the permits and other requirements of these cooperatives, and provided technical support so that these cooperatives could import rice.
The Resolution nevertheless emphasized that the two groups operated independently of each other as it found no evidence of conspiracy between these groups.
Article 186 of the Revised Penal Code prohibits certain monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade. It prohibits, among others, importers of any merchandise of commerce from conspiring with others for transactions prejudicial to lawful commerce.
In the same Resolution, Gudio likewise found Bangayan liable for the unauthorized use of the alias “David Tan”, in violation of CA 142.
The Senate had earlier investigated Bangayan. Its investigation report was used by Gudio in his findings.