TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- To signify the government’s relentless anti-corruption stance, President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the public condemnation and destruction of 14 contraband cars in Port Irene on Wednesday, March 14.
Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) said the wrecked cars are among 855 vehicles shipped through and later abandoned in Santa Ana’s port. CEZA will continue destroying the remaining cars in the next few days.
The cars were previously impounded in a warehouse at Port Irene.
Malacañang said the condemned vehicles include eight Mercedes Benz, one Porsche, one Maserati, two BMWs, and Opel and Renault sedans.
“The public destruction of the illegally imported cars is aimed at discouraging smugglers from shipping in expensive vehicles,” they said.
Duterte arrived at Port Irene past 5 PM on Wednesday and inspected the cars with CEZA Administrator Raul Lambino, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go.
Philippine National Police Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III who arrived before the President also inspected the cars.
The government facilitated the destruction with the help of a bulldozer and a backhoe.
The President also addressed more than 300 people including CEZA locators, local officials, farmers, and community folks from Santa Ana and neighboring Cagayan towns.
“We reaffirm our commitment to build a country free from the shackles of corruption. This condemnation of these smuggled vehicles demonstrates our firm stand to put an end to a longstanding societal disease that has eroded public trust and tainted the government’s sincerity to deliver equitable social services,” the President said during the program.
“The destruction of these contraband luxury vehicles signifies our strong resolve to restore good governance, preserve our nation’s dignity and safeguard our people’s welfare,” he added.
After the photo opportunity of local officials, Duterte left Port Irene past 6 PM for his flight from this city. He later flew to Davao to meet with visitors from the Middle East.
The vehicles are part of Duterte’s second batch of smuggled vehicles destroyed under his administration. He witnessed last month the public condemnation of illegally-shipped vehicles at the Port of Manila during the anniversary of the Bureau of Customs. The destruction of vehicles was simultaneously done in the ports of Cebu and Davao. Northernforum.net