(MENAFN - Gulf Times) President Rodrigo Duterte has put his foot down on the smuggling of luxury cars and vowed to destroy them tomorrow.
At a forum on indigenous people in Davao City on Thursday night, Duterte said the smugglers should 'watch their money burn because he will arrange a tractor to run over the smuggled luxury cars.
'I will bulldoze them this Tuesday. I've instructed (Bureau of Customs) Commissioner Isidro Lapena to not sell them because the situation will remain the same. The smugglers will still be the only ones who will benefit from the sale and they will be the only ones who will wait for the next auctions. It is legal and it is cheap because it is auctioned, he added.
According to Duterte, the 'style of the smugglers is to import the luxury cars and send them to a fake consignee.
'Fake news, fake name, fake address. And because no one owns the smuggled cars, then no one is there to pay for the tax, he said.
'So, your style is you just wait. Then after a year, six months, the ones responsible for arranging the selling of the cars will have them auctioned. And you'll still be the only ones who will buy them because you're the only ones who've been informed that there is an auction, Duterte added.
The president said even if the smugglers kept on importing cars, he would bulldoze the vehicles every day.
'You want luxury cars? Have them imported and pay for them in advance because you like them so much. But don't fool with us because you've always been, you're fooling the government. I don't care about what you'll say about me. I don't care as long as I am doing my job, Duterte added.
Also on Thursday, Malacanang spokesman Harry Roque said the destruction of luxury vehicles will be a stern warning to smugglers in the country.
'The government is serious in its fight to curb smuggling and corruption and hope to make the Bureau of Customs as a showcase in our good governance drive, Roque added in a news briefing in Baguio City.
'It is common knowledge that many apprehended luxury vehicles ultimately end up in the market where they can easily win in auction, he said.
The Customs bureau seized millions worth of used McLaren, Lamborghini and Ferrari sports cars at the Manila International Container Port last November.