MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte led anew together with other government officials on Wednesday the simultaneous destruction of 116 brand new motorcycles and six used vehicles worth a total of PHP34.71 million at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) head office in Manila and Port of Cebu.
In Manila, a total of 112 units of brand new Vespa scooters and used BMW motorcycle, Harley Davidson, two units of Triumph motorcycle, Mitsubishi Pajero, two units of Land Rover and Volvo car were destroyed by - backhoe.
Simultaneously destructed at the Port of Cebu are used Ford Ecoline E350, 2005 and 2002 models.
Customs Commissioner Isidro LapeAa said the destruction of the motor vehicles is in line with the President's directive to warn all smugglers to pay the tax for their vehicle importations or have them crushed by a bulldozer.
Likewise, it aims to stop the fixing schemes of the smugglers conniving with some Customs employees in the usual auction of seized cars.
The President's order is clear, sending a very strong message to smugglers, to stop what they have been doing. These smugglers have long been cheating the government. This has to stop, he said after the condemnation proceedings.
The motor vehicles arrived on separate dates at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), Ports of Subic, Cebu and Iloilo.
Last Feb. 6, Duterte also witnessed the destruction of 20 high-end vehicles worths PHP61 million during the BOC's founding anniversary.
The luxury cars include McLaren, Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus.
On the other hand, the BOC reported that a total of 24 seized vehicles are under litigation at the Law Division.
I have directed those in charge of the case to facilitate the litigation of the 24 luxury cars. If the final decision of the case is in favour to the government, the same will happen to them. They will be destroyed, LapeAa added.
Eighteen of the 24 cars including 13 brand new Land Cruisers, two units of Chevrolet Camaro, two brand new Range Rover and a McLaren were already forfeited.
However, the importer of the 18 vehicles has a pending appeal before the Court of Tax Appeals.
The remaining cars are still under legal proceedings. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency