Duterte leads wrecking of luxury cars as warning vs. smuggling

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 6) — Smuggling must stop.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivered this message at the 116th anniversary of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Tuesday, addressing those who would trade and deliver goods without proper documentation.

"Smuggling has been going on again and again over a period of centuries. Well, it has to stop," said the President.

 

To prove his point, Duterte presided over the wrecking of 20 luxury cars – among them a Corvette, an Audi, a BMW, a Mercedes Benz, and a Jaguar.

Using a backhoe, the smuggled luxury vehicles were destroyed at the Bureau of Customs in Manila as the President watched.

Similar activities were done in the cities of Davao and Cebu where a total of 10 smuggled vehicles were destroyed.

The estimated cost of these units: ₱61.6 million.

Duterte did not want the items seized to be sold because when these are sold at auction, they might end up at the hands of syndicates.

Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez supported the move.

"When you auction it, there's a good chance that those who smuggled it will join in the auction….It just doesn't send the message that smuggling or tax evasion is not going to be tolerated," he said.

The BOC said the wrecked cars are the batch of luxury vehicles to be destroyed, and many more are lined up to be crushed once the required legal paperwork will be completed.

Polong not spared from discussion

The President's son, former Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, has been linked to smuggling at the BOC.

"Alam niyang papatayin ko siya, kung hindi ipapapatay ko siya. Where is he now? Will he be here tonight? Nasa pantalan 'yan, 'yan ang hanapbuhay niya," the President said.

[Translation: He knows I will kill him, if not I will have him killed. Where is he now? Will he be here now? He's at the port, that's his livelihood.]

The younger Duterte figured in an investigation into the smuggling of ₱6.4 billion worth of drugs from China. He had denied all links to drug smuggling, including being part of the so-called Davao Group, which allegedly peddles influence at the Customs.

RELATED: Paolo Duterte, Mans Carpio to attend Senate probe

CNN Philippines digital producer Pia Garcia contributed to this report.