By Genalyn Kabiling
President Rodrigo Duterte is dead set on curbing smuggling following his order to the Bureau of Customs (BoC) to destroy smuggled luxury vehicles seized by the authorities.
The customs bureau used to auction off the seized vehicles which still end up in the hands of the car smugglers.
“The President’s order to destroy these smuggled luxury vehicles speaks for itself,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said during a press conference in Baguio City.
“This is to serve as a stern warning to smugglers. It is common knowledge that many apprehended luxury vehicles ultimately end up in the market where they can be easily won back by auction,” he said.
With the President’s latest directive to destroy the smuggled luxury cars, Roque said, they expect the custom bureau to be a model of good governance.
“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,” he said.
Customs chief Isidro Lapeña announced last month that the smuggled luxury cars would be destroyed instead of being auctioned off upon the orders of the President. The smuggled vehicles including Ferraris, Porsches, and Lamborghinis were seized for alleged undervaluation and lack of documentary requirements from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.