Bangayan: No 'credible evidence' in perjury complaint

MANILA, Philippines – Businessman Davidson Bangayan, who is being investigated for alleged rice smuggling activities, said there is lack of "sufficient and credible evidence" to charge him in court with perjury.

On Thursday, February 27, during the first day of preliminary investigation (PI) on the perjury complaint that the Senate ordered filed against him, Bangayan was a no-show, having filed his counter-affidavit a day before.

In his sworn affidavit, Bangayan maintained that he did not lie under oath during the January 22 and February 3 Senate hearings on the issue of rice smuggling where he denied being the alleged big-time smuggler David Tan.

He reiterated what he said before the legislators that he had to refer to himself as "a.k.a. David Tan" in a 2005 libel complaint he filed, as the newspaper report where the case was based called him "a.k.a. David Tan."

The businessman maintained he is not the smuggler David Tan identified by the justice department. He has attached to his affidavit his passport and birth certificate as evidence.

The perjury complaint was filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) by Horace Cruda, the legislative committee secretary of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, last February 7.

Bangayan also raised issues on how his Senate testimony was appreciated by the legislators.

"Unfortunately, some Honorable Senators would not hear any of my explanations. At several instances, I was not even allowed to finish my statements or explanations," he said.

2005 Libel case

Bangayan's perjury complaint stemmed from a 2005 complaint-affidavit he signed for a libel case. The affidavit was filed on April 26, 2005.

While he signed the document using the name Davidson Bangayan, he referred to himself as "Davidson Bangayan a.k.a. David Tan" in the body of the affidavit.

Bangayan, however, said he simply relied on his lawyer's advice "to quote the exact wording of the libelous article."

"It may be worth to note that, as in any other case or complaint, I was assisted by my then lawyers in the preparation and drafting of the said complaint for libel.... I merely followed my lawyers' advice as to how the allegations in the complaint should be worded, and as to what documentary attachments should be included," he said.

The libel case was filed by Bangayan against Federation of Philippine Industries Chairman Jesus Arranza, Eric and Lian Thong, Henry Chin Hee Loong, Teodoro Locsin Jr, and Elaine Ramos for imputing Bangayan and his company, Advanced Scrap Specialists Corporation, of wrongful acts including swindling.

Certification

Bangayan also dismissed the certification dated April 22, 2005, which confirmed Bangayan's ownership of Advanced Scrap Specialists Corporation.

The certification, where Bangayan was also identified as "Davidson Bangayan a.k.a. David Tan," was used as evidence in the 2005 libel case.

"Similarly, I had no hand in the preparation of the purported Annex I to the complaint for libel. I can only surmise that the person who issued the purported certification also based his/her statement on the exact wording (i.e., Davidson Bangayan a.k.a. David Tan) used in the libelous article," he said.

He added that he should have been more prudent on the matter but maintained that "oversight and simple negligence" is not tantamount to willfully lying under oath. – Rappler.com